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SIR C. P. LUCAS, K.C.B., K.C.M.G. 









THE Sketch of Lord Durham's Mission by 
Charles Buller is published as far as I am aware 
for the first time by the kind permission of 
Mr. A. G. Doughty, C.M.G., Dominion Archivist 
at Ottawa, to whom it was given by the present 
Earl of Durham. 

My thanks are due to him ; and among many 
friends in England and Canada who have given me 
help, I must specially mention Professor Egerton, 
and Mr. A. B. Keith of the Colonial Office, author 
of Responsible Government in the Dominions. I 
have also to thank Mr. Henry Lambert, C.B., of 
the Colonial Office, Mr. C. Atchley, C.M.G., I.S.O., 
Librarian of the Colonial Office, and Mr. H. P. 
Biggar, of the Dominion Archives Department. 

Any views expressed in the Introduction or the 
Notes are my own alone. 


March 1912 


P. 97, 1. 12. for 1838 read 1837 




LORD DURHAM ....... 1 








The Scope of the Report . . . . .114 
The Character of the Report . . . .116 
The Substance of the Report . . . .123 
Reunion of the two Canadas .... 124 
Responsible Government . . . . .137 

Public Lands .152 

Emigration ... 188 

Means of Communication ... .198 

Municipalities and Local Government . . .210 





Administration of Justice 223 

Education 232 

General Union of British North America . . 247 
References to the United States .... 257 
Colonial Office and Colonial Administration . .266 






INDEX . 325 


JOHN GEORGE LAMBTON, first Earl of Durham, 
was born in 1792. He died in 1840 at the age of 48. 
He was bom a year after an Act had been passed 
by the Imperial Parliament dividing the Province 
of Quebec, as it then was, into the two provinces of 
Upper and Lower Canada, and granting to either 
province representative institutions without respon- 
sible government. In the year in which he died 
another Imperial Act was passed, in consequence 
of his own recommendations, reuniting the two 
provinces with a view to granting to the single 
colony wider powers of self-government. 

He was the son-in-law of Lord Grey, the Prime 
Minister who carried the great Reform Bill. He 
was the father-in-law of Lord Elgin, who, as 
Governor-General of Canada, made responsible 
government in that colony a reality. He was 
the grandfather of the Secretary of State for the 
Colonies, who gave responsible government to the 
Transvaal and the Orange River Colony. His life 
was comparatively short : he never held high 
administrative office in England : he was a colonial 
governor for only five months : and he gave to the 
world a state paper on colonial matters which will 
live to all time. 

He was educated at Eton, and, after two years 
in the Army, he was in 1813 elected to the House 

1352-1 B 


of Commons on the Whig or Liberal side as member 
for the county of Durham. In 1828 he was made 
a peer. In 1830 he was included in Lord Grey's 
Cabinet, being given the sinecure office of Lord 
Privy Seal, and he was a prominent member of the 
Committee of Ministers who framed the Reform 
Bill. In 1833 he left the Government and was 
made an Earl. For about two years, from 1835-7, 
he was Ambassador to Russia. In January 1838 
he accepted the appointment of Governor-General 
of the British North American provinces. He left 
England on the 24th of April 1838 ; he reached 
Quebec on the 27th of May. On the 29th of May 
he landed and was sworn into office. He left again 
for England on the 1st of November following. 
On the 30th of November he landed at Plymouth. 
His Report is dated the 31st of January 1839 ; 
and on the 28th of July 1840 he died. 

Lord Durham was an aristocrat in temper and 
habits, lordly and imperious, fond of pomp and 
circumstance. He was a pronounced Radical in 
his political creed. But he was poles asunder from 
the Radicals of the Manchester School, and was 
more allied to such men as Sir William Molesworth 
than to Richard Cobden. He seems to have been a 
man of high character, transparent honesty, great 
courage and promptness, and of outspoken con- 
victions, but masterful and arrogant, with a self-will 
intensified by want of health, and by having come 
into his kingdom in early boyhood. He was a good 
man to serve, but a difficult man for a colleague, 
a man impatient of contradiction and restraint, one 
who made enemies and risked losing friends. 


His life has been fully told in Mr. Stuart Reid's 
two interesting volumes, and no reference will now 
be made to any of its incidents in or out of Canada. 
Nor will words be wasted upon the much-debated 
question whether or not he wrote the Report which 
bears his signature. No one would suppose that 
he drafted every line of the document himself. On 
the other hand, to maintain that Lord Durham, of 
all men in the world, allowed somebody else to 
dictate what he was to recommend is ridiculous. 
When dispatches or state papers are published 
bearing the signature of one minister or another, 
it is not to be supposed that they have in all cases 
been written, word by word, from beginning to 
end, by the man who signs them. Yet every such 
document is presumed to embody his instructions, 
to have been under his eye, and corrected by his 
hand, and, bearing his signature, is credited to 
him for good or ill. Whether Lord Durham's own 
pen actually wrote much or little of the Report, 
in form and substance it is his and his alone, able 
as were the members of his staff. 

For he seems to have had the high quality of 
choosing competent advisers and assistants, and 
the courage or indiscretion of selecting them with- 
out regard to public opinion. The principal mem- 
ber of his staff was Charles Buller, pupil and friend 
of Carlyle, and satirist of the Colonial Office, who 
was widely credited with being the real author of 
the Report, and whose brilliant promise was cut 
short by early death in 1848. Next in importance 
was Gibbon Wakefield, whose personal antecedents 
gave occasion for cavilling at his being attached to 

B 2 


Lord Durham's Mission, but whose living and 
stimulating interest in colonial questions was 
beyond dispute. Durham's private secretary was 
Edward Ellice the younger, son of ' Bear ' Ellice, 
who had been the whip in Lord Grey's Ministry, 
and to whose merits in the capacity of a Canadian 
seignior the Report pays the graceful and kindly 
tribute of an old friend. 

The Report was published before all the supple- 
mentary reports which form its appendices had 
been received. A list of these appendices is given 
in vol. iii, and the following documents have been 
reprinted in the hope that they will be of use and 
interest to students of colonial, more especially of 
Canadian history. From Appendix A, papers 1, 2, 
5, 6, and 9, being Mr. Hanson's Report on the 
excessive appropriation of public land under the 
name of Clergy Reserves ; a special report by 
Charles Buller on militia claims to grants of land ; 
a letter from Mr. William Young on the State of 
Nova Scotia; a letter from the Roman Catholic 
Bishop Macdonell ; and an address from the Con- 
stitutional Association of Montreal. From Appen- 
dix B, Charles Buller's Report on Public Lands 
and Emigration with the Royal Commission under 
which Lord Durham appointed him to make the 
Report, but without the Minutes of Evidence. 
Appendix C, including the Reports of the Com- 
missioners of Inquiry into the Municipal Institu- 
tions of Lower Canada, but excluding both the 
Appendix to those reports and also the Report from 
the Anglican Bishop of Montreal on the state of the 
Church within his diocese. From Appendix D, the 


Report of the Commissioner of Inquiry into the 
state of Education in Lower Canada, without the 
Returns, and an extract from the Report on the 
Jesuits' Estates. It has also been thought well to 
reprint three dispatches, dated 20th January 1838, 
3rd April 1838, and 21st April 1838, which embody 
Lord Glenelg's instructions to Lord Durham ; Lord 
Durham's dispatch of 9th August 1838, in which he 
foreshadowed the terms of his Report ; Lord John 
Russell's dispatch of 14th October 1839 on the sub- 
ject of Responsible Government ; and lastly, to add 
Charles Buller's sketch of Lord Durham's Mission. 
The Report, clear and powerful, speaks for itself, 
but some notes have been appended to it, and in 
this Introduction it is proposed to try to answer 
the following questions. (1) What were the con- 
ditions prevailing in the United Kingdom and in 
the British Empire generally at the time of Lord 
Durham's Mission ? (2) What was the position in 
the two Caiiadas at the time, and what circum- 
stances had led up to it ? (3) What were the terms 
of Lord Durham's Commission, and what were his 
instructions ? (4) What was in summary the scope, 
the character, and the substance of his Report ? 

(5) How far, according to the lights of the present 
day, did he read the past correctly ? How far 
did he correctly forecast the future in Canada, 
and how far were his recommendations adopted ? 

(6) How far are the principles laid down in his 
report of universal application ? 

Before, however, dealing with these specific 
questions it is necessary to say a word of general 
caution. The popular view of Lord Durham and 


his mission is that an abnormal crisis having 
arisen in a British colony, or a group of British 
colonies, which crisis was due in the main to 
ignorance and want of intelligence on the part of the 
rulers both in the colony and at home, the hour 
came and the man who discovered once for all the 
true principles of colonial administration. This 
view needs to be corrected. The crisis in Canada 
was only in part abnormal, though it had attained 
to undue proportions. Discontent is the common 
accompaniment of growth. Given a young man 
or a young community, with increasingly large 
capacities, and full of life and vigour, then desire 
for greater freedom and a wider field of vitality, 
and restlessness until the desire has been satisfied, 
is healthy, natural, and in no sense abnormal. 
Given again a community, in which to the desire 
for a greater measure of self-government is super- 
added the further element of friction caused by 
rival races, in different stages of development, 
living side by side in the same country, and it is 
obvious that the restlessness will be intensified. 
The conditions in the Canadas which Lord Durham 
set out to remedy were, therefore, not altogether 
abnormal. They were to some extent the necessary 
outcome of the time and place. 

Nor did Lord Durham achieve some wholly new 
and wonderful discovery when he recommended 
the reunion of the two provinces, and the grant of 
self-government to Canada. The reunion of the 
Canadas had been talked of almost from the date 
when they were divided from each other ; while 
as far back as 1822 a reunion bill had, on the 


instance of Ellice the elder, been introduced into 
the House of Commons by the Tory Government of 
the day, and, but for the opposition of a handful 
of Radical members led by Sir James Mackintosh, 
might have been passed into law. Self-government 
for the colonies again, in one form or another, was 
not first conceived by Lord Durham. His merit 
consisted in the fact that, though he had not been 
born and bred in the colonies, probably because he 
had not been born and bred in the colonies, but 
had been a leader of the Reform movement in 
England, he advocated self-government for the 
colonies in the form in which it existed in the 
United Kingdom. It consisted in the force and 
clearness with which he pointed out existing evils, 
and the remedies which must be applied ; the 
statesmanship with which, not content with 
generalities, he prescribed definite and immediate 
action ; and the courage and insight, amounting to 
genius, with which he gave to the world the doc- 
trine of responsible government, not as a prelude 
to the creation of separate peoples, but as the 
cornerstone upon which a single and undivided 
British Empire should be reared to abiding strength. 
One other comment is necessary. Lord Durham 
was only five months in North America, and of 
that time only eleven days were spent in Upper 
Canada, 1 the whole of the rest of the time being 

1 The Report of the Select Committee of the House of Assembly of 
Upper Canada, made in April 1839, which severely criticized Lord 
Durham and his Report, stated that ' His lordship's personal observa- 
tion was confined to his passing up the River St. Lawrence, and crossing 
Lake Ontario, in a steamboat occupied exclusively by his family and 
suite, a four days' sojourn at the Falls of Niagara, and a twenty-four 


devoted to the Lower Province. Moreover, during 
these five months, he had not only to attend to all 
the everyday business of administration, but to 
deal with the most pressing and vitally important 
questions, carrying on his own shoulders at a time 
of crisis the whole load of responsibility. He was 
not, like other commissioners, sent to make an 
inquiry, while all the ordinary machinery of 
government was steadily working from day to day 
irrespective of the commissioner and without dis- 
turbing the course of the inquiry. Nor was lie 
sent out with command of railways, telegraphs, 
and all the swift and sure means of communication 
which science has since perfected or devised. The 
field of his inquiry was very wide, the population 
was very scattered, the problems were as varied 
as they were numerous, means of communication 
were most inadequate. That such results should 
have been achieved in so short a time, when that 
short time had been overfilled with harassing ques- 
tions of administration, is evidence to monumental 
industry and striking ability on the part of Lord 
Durham and his assistants. But, at the same time, 
it is clear that, under these conditions, it was 
humanly impossible for the Report to have em- 
bodied the fullest first-hand knowledge on every 
point of detail, or to have been written with all 
the judgement and reflection which a longer 
residence in North America might have brought. 
Possibly in the latter case the view of the forest 

hours' visit to the Lieutenant-Governor at Toronto' (Parliamentary 
Paper, No. 289, June 1839, Copies or Extracts of Correspondence 
relative to the Affairs of Canada, p. 22). 


might have been obscured by the trees, and the 
picture of the whole might have been no more 
accurate and less vivid than that which is presented 
in the Report ; but, none the less, on the one hand 
it is only fair to Lord Durham to bear in mind the 
disadvantages under which the Report was written, 
and on the other it would be wrong to ignore the 
very strong exception taken to the statements and 
inferences which it contained, in and on behalf of 
Upper Canada. 


QUEEN VICTORIA came to the throne on the 
20th of June 1837. Lord Durham, therefore, 
started on his mission towards the end of the first 
year of her reign. It is noteworthy how the 
beginning of the great Queen's reign coincided with 
various measures or movements which tended to 
recast and regenerate the British Empire. In 
1833, Sir James Stephen, then legal adviser and 
three years later permanent head of the Colonial 
Office, between a Saturday morning and the middle 
of the day on the following Monday, drafted the 
Imperial Act for the Abolition of Slavery. Passed 
into law in that year, it provided that, from the 
1st of August 1834, slavery should be abolished 
throughout the British dominions ; but the emanci- 
pated negroes were to continue to labour under 
a system of apprenticeship until the 1st of August 
1838 in the case of non-praedial apprentices, and 
the 1st of August 1840 in the case of praedial 
apprentices, the term of apprenticeship being in 
some cases shortened by local legislation. The 
last remnants of legalized slavery were therefore 
being blotted out in the British Empire when the 
young girl of eighteen became Queen ; and when 
sixty-three years later she died in fullness of age 
and of honour, she was mourned in the lands which 


slavery had once blighted, as the giver of freedom 
to the negro race. Great as an act of humanity 
and justice to a class of British subjects, the 
Emancipation Act is also interesting to students 
of colonial history as an instance of the mother 
country enforcing its will on colonies, some of 
which had from the earliest times enjoyed no small 
measure of self-government. An island like Bar- 
bados was never a Crown Colony in the ordinary 
sense. It had from the first been to a large extent 
a self-governing community, though the self- 
government was limited to the white oligarchy ; 
and to this day it retains its elected Assembly 
and the power of the purse. Thus we have the 
noteworthy coincidence of the birth of responsible 
government in British North America with the 
most pronounced enforcement of the will of the 
mother country in the British West Indies, though 
the latter had enjoyed representative institutions 
in times when Canada, so far as it was colonized, 
was under a French despotism, with no semblance 
even of municipal liberties, while what was after- 
wards Upper Canada was in the main a wilderness. 
Somewhat later in time than the anti-slavery 
movement, but roughly coincident with the acces- 
sion of Queen Victoria, was another fruitful philan- 
thropic effort, which resulted in the gradual 
abolition of the system of transportation. Arch- 
bishop Whately and others had been active in 
pointing out the evils and abuses to which this 
system gave rise, and in 1837 a select committee 
was appointed by the House of Commons ' to 
inquire into the system of transportation, its 


efficacy as a punishment, its influence on the 
moral state of Society in the penal colonies, and 
how far it is susceptible of improvement '. It was 
a strong committee. Sir William Molesworth was 
the Chairman, and among the members were 
Charles Buller, Sir George Grey, Lord Howick, 
afterwards Lord Grey, Lord John Russell, and 
Sir Robert Peel. The report was made in August 
1838 : it condemned the existing system : and the 
first of its recommendations was ' that transporta- 
tion to New South Wales, and to the settled 
districts of Van Diemen's Land, should be dis- 
continued as soon as practicable '. In 1840 
transportation to New South Wales was suspended. 
This was the beginning of the end of a system 
which died hard, for some convicts were sent to 
Western Australia up to 1867, Western Australia 
being, it should be noted, the only colony in 
Australia which at that date had not received 
responsible government. The system died hard, 
for it was not, like slavery, evil in its essence ; it 
was evil only in the conditions under which it was 
enforced or which gathered round it. 

The Act of Parliament which abolished slavery 
throughout the British dominions affected mainly 
the colonies of Great Britain in the western 
hemisphere, the West Indies, which were her 
oldest colonies, and which were in fact, as they 
had been in name, plantations. The anti-trans- 
portation movement principally affected the British 
colonies in the south, the youngest colonies of 
Great Britain, those in Australia which had been 
originally founded as penal settlements. Slavery 


was abolished by the will of the mother country 
imposed upon the slave-owning colonies ; trans- 
portation was eventually abolished in obedience to 
the will of the colonies imposed upon the mother 
country. In the West Indies, where slavery 
prevailed, and where in past times the white 
oligarchies were in great measure self-governing 
communities, there is now but the remanet of 
representative institutions. The area where the 
transportation system was most fully applied is, 
at the present day, the scene of colonial self- 
government in its fullest expression. 

The Cape, on the way between East and West, 
on the way between North and South, was touched 
alike by the abolition of slavery and by the move- 
ment against transportation. One of the dramatic 
incidents in the later stages of the anti-transporta- 
tion campaign, and one of the most emphatic 
pronouncements of colonial rights in advance of 
colonial self-government, was the refusal of the 
Cape colonists, in September 1849, to allow the 
Neptune to land her freight of ticket-of -leave men 
in Simons Bay. Earlier in the history of the Cape, 
the inadequacy of the compensation paid to the 
slave-owners had embittered colonial feeling against 
the British Government ; there followed the 
reversal of Sir Benjamin D'Urban's policy by 
Lord Glenelg ; and when Queen Victoria came to 
the throne, the Great Boer trek was taking place, 
which coloured the whole subsequent history of 
South Africa. 

Returning to Australasia, the colony of South 
Australia dates from 1836, the year before the 


Queen's accession. The date usually given to the 
founding of Melbourne is 1837. In 1837 the New 
Zealand Association was formed. In 1838-9 it 
was followed by the New Zealand Land Company. 
In 1839 this company forced the hands of the 
Government by sending out the ship Tory to New 
Zealand, with Gibbon Wakefield's brother on 
board, and the forerunners of a larger band of 
settlers ; and early in 1840 New Zealand became 
formally and finally a British possession. The 
settlement of South Australia, and the acquisition 
of New Zealand, were the outcome of the coloniza- 
tion movement with which Gibbon Wakefield's 
name is for ever associated, and the chairman of 
the New Zealand Company was Lord Durham. 
This movement was at its flood-tide when Queen 
Victoria came to the throne. 

But while thinkers and statesmen and philan- 
thropists were at work, more potent in their effects 
upon the world at large, and upon the British 
Empire in particular, were the inventions and 
discoveries of men of science. When Queen 
Victoria began her reign, the forces of steam were 
in their cradle, and the forces of electricity were 
being brought to birth. The first railway upon 
which the locomotive was used, the line from 
Stockton to Darlington, was opened in 1825, the 
line from Manchester to Liverpool in 1830. In his 
Report (ii. 212-13), Lord Durham wrote, ' there 
is but one railroad in all British America, and 
that, running between the St. Lawrence and Lake 
Champlain, is only fifteen miles long.' That line 
was the only railroad in the British Empire outside 


the United Kingdom at the date of the Queen's 
accession. In his Essay on the Government of 
Dependencies, which was published in 1841, Sir 
George Cornewall-Lewis speaks of the possibility 
of countervailing the difficulties in administration 
due to distance by ' the goodness of the roads 
and bridges, and an advanced state of the art of 
navigation, affording the means of rapid locomotion 
both by land and sea V but he makes no specific 
reference in this passage to railways, steamers, or 
telegraphs ; and in one note only in his book does 
he refer in unfamiliar terms to ' the invention of 
steam railways ', as about to reduce ' to sober 
truth ' the passage in which the poet Claudian 
depicted the unity and the facility of intercourse 
which peace and good roads had given to the 
Roman Empire. 2 Almost the greatest merit of Lord 
Durham's Report is the writer's obvious apprecia- 
tion of what the future, aided by science, might have 
in store for British North America ; and had Lord 
Durham lived to see the 8th of November 1885, 
when railway connexion was completed from 
Montreal to Vancouver, he would have been 
hardly older then than one of the chief pioneers of 
the Canadian Pacific Railway, the present High 
Commissioner for Canada, is now. 

' The success of the great experiment of steam 
navigation across the Atlantic,' says Lord Durham 
in his Report (ii. 316-17), ' opens a prospect of 
a speedy communication with Europe, which will 
materially affect the future state of all these 
provinces.' On the wall at the entrance to the 

1 p. 178 (1891 ed.). ' PP- 128-9 note. 


Parliamentary Library at Ottawa there is an in- 
scription ' in honour of the men by whose enterprise, 
courage, and skill, the Royal William, the first 
vessel to cross the Atlantic by steam power, was 
wholly constructed in Canada and navigated to 
England in 1833 '. This ship was built at Quebec 
under the cliffs of Cape Diamond, and launched in 
April 1831. On the 18th of August 1833 she started 
from Pictou in Nova Scotia and steamed across 
the Atlantic, reaching Gravesend on the 12th of 
September, twenty-five days after leaving Pictou. 1 
Regular steam communication, however, between 
England and America did not begin till 1838, the 
year in which Lord Durham went to Canada. 
The Peninsular Company, formed in 1837, received 
its charter as the Peninsular and Oriental Company 
in 1840 ; and on the 4th of July 1840 the Britannia, 
a steamer belonging to a citizen of Halifax in Nova 
Scotia, of the name of Cunard, started from Liver- 
pool for Halifax and Boston, being the first regular 
steamer of the great Cunard line. 

In 1837, Cooke and Wheatstone took out a patent 
for an electric telegraph, and in 1840 Wheatstone 
is said to have drawn plans for a submarine tele- 
graph from Dover to Calais ; but it was not until 
1858 that a submarine cable was laid between the 
United Kingdom and America, and the connexion 
was not finally and successfully made until 1866. 
It may be summed up that when Queen Victoria's 
reign began, and when Lord Durham went out to 

1 The brass tablet was erected in 1894, and a full account of the Royal 
WiUiam is given in the Report of the Secretary of State of Canada for 
1894, published in 1895. 


Canada, science was about to recast the meaning 
of space and time ; but it was as yet the dawn 
only, and not the full brightness of day. 

Lord Melbourne, who succeeded Lord Grey as 
the leader or nominal leader of the Whig party, 
was Queen Victoria's first Prime Minister, and it 
was during his tenure of office that Lord Durham's 
mission took place. The battle of Waterloo had 
ended an age of war. Before 1815< for England 
and for the world generally, war had for a long 
series of years been the rule and peace the excep- 
tion. The people had grown up not merely familiar 
with the conditions of life in time of war, but so 
accustomed to war that peace must have seemed 
a novelty. It had been a fight for national exis- 
tence. England, though spared the horror of war 
on her own shores, had paid a heavy price for 
victory, but she had survived and she had won. 
When peace came again, the English, by a perfectly 
wholesome instinct, still kept in power the men 
who had led them in war times and with whom 
the Duke of Wellington was associated, and they 
kept out of power the Whigs who had been or 
seemed to have been the less patriotic of the two 
parties. This went on until peace had become the 
rule and not the exception, and until, if ever there 
was going to be a transfer of power from one party 
to another, it was absolutely inevitable that it 
should take place. Then in 1830 the Whigs, who 
had especially espoused or professed to espouse 
the cause of Parliamentary Reform, came into 
power, and with a short break held office for rather 
more than ten years. 

1352-1 C 


They passed the great Reform Act of 1832, the 
Acts for the abolition of slavery, for the reform of 
the Poor Law, for the reform of municipal corpora- 
tions, and other valuable legislation. It stands to 
their lasting credit that they thoroughly repaired 
the parliamentary machinery of England, gave 
some measure of representation to the great cities, 
and made the House of Commons an exponent of 
popular wishes and popular movements to an 
extent which had never been the case before. It 
stands to their credit, too, that, having improved 
the machinery, they used it for a short time in an 
undeniably beneficial manner. On the other hand, 
their enthusiasm for democratic measures, and the 
enthusiasm of the people for them, cooled some- 
what rapidly ; and at the beginning of Queen 
Victoria's reign the Whig ministers were not much 
more than caretakers, the leaders of the Ins as 
opposed to the Outs, not entrusted with any great 
mission or standing for any great principle. 

The reasons for this result are not far to seek. 
The inevitable outcome of passing the Reform Act 
and having a reformed Parliament was disunion, 
more or less pronounced, more or less rapid, both in 
the Government and in the country. The door had 
been unlocked, obstructions had been removed, 
people were moving on, and they moved at different 
rates of speed and in different directions. The 
individual ministers, or some of them, may well 
have become tired and half-hearted, and there was 
probably, as is always the case, a large section of 
the public disappointed because extension of the 
franchise did not at once bring the millennium. 


Moreover there was, after all, no great gulf fixed 
between the Whigs and the Tories. On the one 
hand the Whig Government was not wholly com- 
posed of traditional Whigs, and on the other the 
Tories, whom they succeeded, had had a strong 
leaven of Liberalism among them. Melbourne had 
served under Canning and the Duke of Wellington. 
Stanley, nominally a Whig, had served under 
Canning. Palmerston, Goderich, Lord Glenelg, 
among others, had been in the so-called Tory ranks. 
In those ranks, Canning had been the very anti- 
podes of a benighted Tory; Huskisson had gone 
further than any responsible minister in the direc- 
tion of Free Trade ; while, even when the Duke of 
Wellington, the very embodiment of Toryism, was 
Prime Minister, the Test and Corporation Acts had, 
on Lord John Russell's initiative, been repealed, and 
Catholic emancipation had been carried. Canning 
and Huskisson were dead, but Peel survived ; and 
Peel, the country knew well, was no more of 
a reactionary than Melbourne and his friends. 
Thus at the beginning of Queen Victoria's reign 
there was a somewhat colourless Government in 
power, representing a spent force, no better and 
110 worse than an ordinary party Government in 
ordinary times of peace. War as a normal con- 
dition of English life had passed more or less into 
oblivion, and there were a large number of move- 
ments at work, political, social, and industrial, and 
a considerable number of individual men, like 
Lord Durham himself, not hide-bound by party 
ties, but independent of and prepared, if their 
principles called for such a course, to be antagonistic 



to the Government. In 1838 the Anti-Corn Law 
Association was formed, which developed in the 
following year into the Anti-Corn Law League. 
Free Trade had not been a plank in the Whig 
platform, and there was no love lost between 
the official Whigs and Richard Cobden. 1838-9 
was the date of the Chartist movement, and those 
who sympathized with he Chartists made small 
account of the Whigs as represented by Lord Mel- 
bourne's Government. 

In that Government, when Lord Durham went 
out to Canada, the Colonial Secretary was Charles 
Grant, Lord Glenelg. Sir Henry Taylor, who 
served under him at the Colonial Office, wrote of 
him as ' high-minded, accomplished, and occasion- 
ally eloquent, but habitually and incurably sluggish 
and somnolent ; . . . amiable and excellent as he 
was, a more incompetent man could not have been 
found to fill an office requiring activity and a ready 
judgement.' l A much more favourable estimate 
of him was given by Taylor's friend and colleague, 
Sir James Stephen, who, during Lord Glenelg's 
tenure of office was promoted to be permanent 
Under-Secretary of State for the Colonies. When 
Lord Glenelg resigned, Stephen wrote : 

' Lord Glenelg's resignation is, as you may well 
suppose, a sad subject with me. He is the tenth 
Secretary of State under whom I have served, 
and from the most certain knowledge, I can 
declare that of the whole of that long list he is the 
most laborious, the most conscientious, and the 
most enlightened minister of the public. . . . His 

1 Autobiography of Sir Henry Taylor 1885, vol. i, pp. 147-8. 


real and only unfitness for public life arises from 
the strange incompatibility of his temper and 
principles with the tempers and with the rules of 
action to which we erect shrines in Downing Street.' l 

There can be no doubt that Lord Glenelg was 
a man of very high principles. He was actuated 
by the purest motives of justice and philanthropy, 
when he ordered withdrawal from the native 
territory which Sir Benjamin D' Urban had annexed 
to the Cape Colony ; but the result of his action in 
that case was most disastrous, and in general by 
common consent he was a weak and incompetent 
Secretary of State for the Colonies. In 1838 Sir 
William Molesworth moved a vote of censure on 
him in the House of Commons, charging him by 
implication with want of diligence, forethought, 
judgement, activity and firmness, and early in the 
following year he was made to resign. 

Stephen, who described himself in the letter 
quoted above as Lord Glenelg' s ' intimate personal 
friend ', and who, as permanent Under-Secretary 
of State, was his principal adviser at the Colonial 
Office, was anything but a weak man. He was 
strong enough to be exposed to attacks from which 
permanent officials are usually exempt, and he was 
supposed to be the embodiment of all the vices 
of the Colonial Office when Charles Buller de- 
nounced it and talked about ' Mr. Mother Country '. 

' I am scarcely twenty-four hours off Sir William 
Molesworth's impeachment,' Stephen wrote in 
1838, ' in which I hear from Charles Buller, a great 
friend of Sir William's, that I am to have a con- 

1 The First Sir James Stephen, pp. 56-7, Letter of February 12, 1839. 


spicuous share. I am, it seems, at your service, 
a rapacious, grasping, ambitious Tory. On two 
unequal crutches propped he came, Glenelg's on 
this, on that Sir G. Grey's name ; and it appears 
that by the aid of these crutches I have hobbled 
into a dominion wider than ever Nero possessed, 
which I exercise like another Domitian.' ] 

If some took Stephen to be a rapacious Tory, the 
eccentric Governor of Upper Canada, Sir Francis 
Bond Head, abused him as a rank republican. 
From his predominance at the Colonial Office ho 
was christened Mr. Over-Secretary Stephen, and he 
seems to have been regarded by men of the school 
of Molesworth and Buller as the type of a rigid 
and unsympathetic official. He had been brought 
up in the evangelical atmosphere of the Clapham 
sect, and with their virtues and their philanthropy 
may well have inherited also some narrowness, but 
his private letters show no want of kindly feeling 
or of human sympathy. 

' It fell to his lot,' wrote his son, Sir FitzJames 
Stephen in 1860, ' to assist in two of the most 
remarkable transactions even of this century. 
The first was the abolition of slavery, the second 
was the establishment of responsible government 
in Canada. . . . The principles which he always 
advocated ultimately obtained complete recogni- 
tion, but he was constantly obliged to take part 
in measures which he regretted, and of which he 
disapproved.' 2 

It must be remembered that, when the United 
States were severed from the British Empire, little 

1 The, Sir Jam?s Stephen, p. 53. Sir G. Grey was then the 
Parliamentary Under- Secretary at the Colonial Office, nnd represented 
it in the House of Commons. - pp. 51-2. 


trace of colonial self-government was left within 
the Empire except in the West Indian Legislatures. 
The tendency of the time was, as in the case of the 
abolition of slavery, to override these Legislatures, 
not to extend their powers ; and in 1839, the very 
year in which Lord Durham's Report appeared, 
Lord Melbourne's Government brought in a Bill for 
temporarily suspending the constitution of Jamaica, 
which led to the resignation of the Ministry. Out- 
side the West Indies, Canada had been given repre- 
sentative institutions by the Act of 1791, but the 
Colonial Office had necessarily none of the experi- 
ence of dealings with self-governing communities 
which it has at the present day. It may be summed 
up therefore that, when Lord Durham went out to 
Canada, the Colonial Office with which he had to 
deal was in the main what would now be called 
a Crown Colony Office, presided over by an excep- 
tionally weak Secretary of State and an exception- 
ally strong permanent Under-Secretary. Such 
conditions would give a notable opportunity for 
reflections and comments on bureaucracy; and 
inasmuch as the evils of bureaucracy were a 
favourite theme with Charles Buller, perhaps his 
hand may specially be traced in the very able 
passages of the Report (ii. 101-6) which refer to 
this subject, and one of the side notes to which is 
' Evils of committing details of government to 
Colonial Department '. 



IN 1837, the year of the Queen's Accession and 
the year before Lord Durham went to Canada, 
the discontent and unrest which had long prevailed 
alike in Lower and in Upper Canada, culminated 
in open rebellion in either province. In order to 
make clear how the trouble arose, it is necessary 
to give an outline of the previous condition of the 
two provinces. 

Between French and English colonization in 
North America, and between French and English 
colonists, there was a great gulf fixed. Race, 
religion, language, customs, prejudices divided 
them, but the division did not end here. French 
colonization was born of the State, it was reared 
by the State, it was controlled by the State. Its 
essence was feudalism, imported from the old world 
to the new, which was not, however, as in the old 
world, a growth but the creation of the Crown. 
In New France the authority of the Crown and 
of the Church was absolute. ' The institutions of 
France,' wrote Lord Durham (ii. 27-8), ' during the 
period of the colonization of Canada, were, perhaps, 
more than those of any other European nation, 
calculated to repress the intelligence and freedom 
of the great mass of the people. These institutions 


followed the Canadian colonist across the Atlantic. 
The same central, ill-organized, unimproving and 
repressive despotism extended over him. Not 
merely was he allowed no voice in the government 
of his province, or the choice of his rulers, but he 
was not even permitted to associate with his 
neighbours for the regulation of those municipal 
affairs, which the central authority neglected under 
the pretext of managing.' Lord Durham regarded 
the political and social system of Canada under 
French rule from an English point of view, and he 
emphasized that view as an advanced Liberal. 
It is true that there was no liberty, as Englishmen 
understood it, in New France, no vestige of popular 
representation in political or even in municipal 
matters ; but the system was not without its 
merits. It was not ill organized. In its inception 
it was well and skilfully organized. The object 
was to reproduce in the new home the conditions 
which the colonists had known in the old, to create 
a New France in America. New France was 
created, and it would be difficult to find a parallel 
in history for a handiwork so artificial, which was 
at the same time so strong and lasting. Two 
features in French Canada call for special notice. 
The first is that it tended to be a land of extremes, 
or at any rate a land of strong contrasts. Within 
the settled area life was lived rigidly according to 
rule, on fixed lines in fixed places. Outside the 
settled area French quickness of mind and body 
found unlimited scope : the voyageurs and the 
coureurs de bois went far and wide and knew no 
law. The second characteristic to be noticed is 


that Canada in old days was better framed for war 
than for peace. It had a natural stronghold in 
Quebec, to which there is no parallel in North 
America ; it had a race of men in the coureurs de 
bois specially adapted for border forays ; while the 
system, at once feudal and centralized, under which 
the ordinary community lived, was a most effective 
organization for war purposes. The English in 
America were many, the French were one ; and, 
as the days of New France were more often days 
of war than days of peace, Canada reaped the 
benefit of unquestioned authority, unquestioning 
obedience, and a whole population trained for 
service to the King. 

Canadian colonization was the product of the 
State, and the State was the Crown. The British 
colonies, which were the neighbours and rivals of 
Canada, were largely the product of antagonism 
to the State. The typical New Englanders were 
men or the descendants of men who had gone out 
to America to live their lives as they wished, and 
not as the King or the Home Government wished. 
They were cradled in freedom, political and 
religious, and self-government in one form or 
another was of the essence of their being. They 
did perforce a good deal of warring, in a spasmodic 
and slipshod fashion, but their real business was 
to grow and multiply, to settle in their own way 
and on their own lines. There were backwoodsmen 
and hunters among them, but there were no such 
extremes in the English colonies as were to be 
found in Canada. There were no habitants or 
seigniories on the one hand, and on the other no 


' definite class of Indianized Europeans like the 
coureurs de bois. The English colonists were all 
citizens, more often than not grudging and selfish 
citizens, but in all cases keenly conscious of their 
rights if not of their responsibilities. 

The conquest of Canada and the Peace of Paris 
made the French Canadians, who had in the past 
been most loyal subjects of the French King, sub- 
jects of the British King, and fellow subjects with 
these wholly dissimilar British colonists, who had 
no instinct or tradition of heart-whole obedience, 
and a few of whom, bad specimens of their kind, 
found their way into Canada. A most difficult 
position was created for the British Government. 
That Government wished to treat the new subjects, 
the French Canadians, with the fullest considera- 
tion, to respect their religion and their customs. 
At the same time the British ministers wished to 
extend to the French Canadians within reason 
British laws and institutions, because those laws 
and institutions embodied, so it was assumed, 
better conditions of life than the Canadians had 
hitherto known, and because it was desired to con- 
vert the Canadians gradually into British citizens. 
Further it was desired, as far as possible, while con- 
ciliating the French Canadians, not to run counter 
to the wishes and prejudices of the neighbouring 
British colonies, and also as far as possible to meet 
the wishes of the very small but very noisy British 
minority in Canada, and to make Canada an 
attractive field for British settlement. The result 
was, and could only be, a measure or measures of 


Canada, as a British possession, began with 
military rule, and it throve under military rule. 
The Canadians had been accustomed to it or to 
something very like it. They had been trained on 
military lines. Their loyalty and obedience had 
been to persons, to the King, to the priest, to the 
seignior, not to a State. They had obeyed rules 
and customs made from above, not laws made by 
themselves. They had been brought up under 
authority and had inherited discipline. Military 
men, therefore, who had known discipline them- 
selves, and who were by reason of their calling 
essentially the King's men, who, moreover, had in 
fighting learnt to appreciate the bravery and the 
stubbornness of the French Canadians, sympa- 
thized with them more and understood them better 
than did civilians, and far better than well-meaning 
ministers at a distance or the ill-disposed British 
minority on the spot. 

When civil government was established by the 
Royal Proclamation of 1763, soldier governors 
were continued. James Murray, the first Governor, 
and his successor Carleton, were in full sympathy 
with the Canadians, and Carleton urged the 
importance of interfering as little as possible with 
Canadian laws and customs, and of employing the 
Canadian seigniors in the King's service, thereby 
giving them the personal link which they had 
known under the old regime. The absence of some 
such recognition left the Canadian noblesse half- 
hearted in their new allegiance. The introduction 
of English laws and of English legal procedure 
led to confusion and to general uneasiness. The 


habitants found the bonds of discipline relaxed, 
and began to unlearn obedience. The British 
minority clamoured for a General Assembly, on the 
model of the Assemblies of the adjoining provinces, 
the grant of which had been foreshadowed by the 
Proclamation of 1763, and they made the igno- 
rant French peasantry familiar with the claptrap 
phrases of colonial democracy. Under these con- 
ditions, after the most anxious inquiry and guided 
to a great extent by Carleton's advice, the Home 
Government passed the Quebec Act of 1774. 

The Quebec Act gave great offence to the old 
colonies, already on the eve of revolt, mainly 
because it included within the Province of Quebec 
the western lands which those colonies looked upon 
as their own sphere of future settlement and 
colonization ; nor did it satisfy the British minority, 
inasmuch as it made no provision for an elected 
Assembly. By the Canadians, on the other hand, 
it was regarded at the time with great satisfaction, 
for it safeguarded their religion and gave them 
their old laws in civil matters. The Act created 
a Legislative Council, but not on an elective basis ; 
and it withheld from the Council powers of taxa- 
tion except in the form of purely local rates. 
Another Imperial Act was passed at the same 
time, the Quebec Revenue Act, which repealed 
various taxes levied under the French Government, 
and imposed instead certain duties on spirits and 
molasses as well as certain licences, the proceeds of 
which were applied to meeting the expenses of the 
civil government and of the administration of 
j ustice. 


The passing of the Quebec Act was followed 
almost immediately by the War of American 
Independence. In this war the Canadians as a 
whole were neutral ; they were a lately-conquered 
people, they had no great reason to love their con- 
querors, and they were invited and urged to rise 
for freedom and for imaginary privileges which 
they did not understand. On the other hand, they 
had liked their soldier governors ; they, or some of 
them, had recognized the fair and kindly dealing 
embodied in the Quebec Act ; if they had no great 
love for the English from over the seas, they had 
less love for the English in their immediate neigh- 
bourhood ; and the sentiment for a King had not 
wholly died out. The better classes tended to take 
the King's side. Of the peasantry not a few joined 
the Americans ; but the large majority waited on 

The outcome of the war was that Quebec was 
well defended and well kept ; that Canada re- 
mained a province of the British Empire with far 
greater relative importance attached to it than 
when it had been overshadowed by the adjacent 
colonies, now no longer British possessions ; and 
that the Loyalist immigration from the United 
States led to the creation of two new British pro- 
vinces in North America, New Brunswick, which 
was the mainland of Nova Scotia, and Upper 
Canada, which was the hinterland of Quebec. The 
Loyalists brought with them intense animosity to 
the newly-formed Republic of the United States, 
intense loyalty to the British Crown, but none the 
less the traditions and the instincts of colonial 


self-government. Their coming into the old 
Province of Quebec produced a new set of con- 
ditions. The British population of Canada was 
now no longer an insignificant minority, but a 
strong and substantial number of tried and 
approved citizens, whose political training had 
been wholly different from that of the French 
Canadians. They were mainly settled in a part of 
the province which the French had not colonized ; 
and this fact made it possible, if it was thought 
desirable, to divide the province, and give to 
either half a separate legislature and administra- 
tion. This course was taken, again after the most 
careful attention to all the facts and features of 
the case ; and, by the Imperial Act of 1791, the 
Province of Quebec was divided into the two 
provinces of Upper and Lower Canada, either pro- 
vince being given a constitution consisting of 
a nominated Legislative Council and an elected 
Assembly, but neither province being given full 
control either of their revenues or of their executive 
officers. By thus dividing the old Province of 
Quebec it was hoped that friction would be avoided, 
and that French Canada, being side by side with 
a British province, and enjoying the same institu- 
tions, would gradually become assimilated to it 
without jealousy or ill-will. William Pitt's words, 
when introducing the bill into the House of 
Commons, were as follows : ' This division, it was 
hoped, would put an end to the competition 
between the old French inhabitants and the new 
settlers from Britain, or British colonies, which 
had occasioned the disputes and uncertainty 


respecting law, and other disputes of less im- 
portance, by which the province had been so long 
distracted.' x 

At almost any time in Canadian history between 
1783 and 1867, when British North America was 
federated into a dominion, the arguments for 
having one Canada or two Canadas (exclusive of 
the Maritime Provinces) left little to choose 
between them. There were obvious advantages 
and obvious disadvantages in either alternative. 
The division into two provinces led to the following 
among other difficulties. As is pointed out in 
Lord Durham's Report, it tended to widen the gulf 
between French and English by marking out one 
part of Canada for the French and the other for 
the English. At the same time it did not effect 
the object which the framers of the 1791 Act 
contemplated, of preventing conflict between the 
two races by giving them separate spheres of 
influence ; for in the French province there came 
into being an English district, the townships as 
opposed to the seigniories, the settlers in which, for 
many years, were not represented in the Quebec 
Legislature and keenly resented French domination. 

The division of the provinces again necessarily 
involved divided executive authority in an area 
over which it was clearly desirable that there 
should be one supreme head. Nominally there was 
a Governor-General of the two Canadas, and the 
Governor of Upper Canada only bore the title of 
Lieutenant-Governor : but for all practical pur- 

1 Parliamentary Rajistir 1791, vol. xxviii, p. 514, Debate of ilaivh 1 


poses the Governor- General soon became Governor 
of Lower Canada only, and the substitution of two 
Governors for one militated against uniformity of 
policy and tended to weaken the executive power 
in the face of growing democracy. Once more, 
the division of the two provinces, as the dividing 
line was drawn, created a purely inland colony, 
whose outlet to the sea was either through the 
sister colony or through a foreign country. The 
result of this was to make Upper Canada, as far 
as customs duties were concerned, dependent upon 
Lower Canada, and thereby to create a perpetual 
dispute between the two provinces. The Imperial 
Canada Trade Act of 1822 was an attempt to 
remove this cause of friction. 
v It may be summed up that from 1791 onward 
until Lord Durham's time there were, exclusive 
of what are now the Maritime Provinces of the 
Dominion, two Canadas, one mainly French, the 
other mainly English, each province enjoying 
representative institutions without responsible 
government, and the Legislatures consisting in 
either case of a nominated Legislative Council and 
an elected Assembly. There were thus obvious and 
abundant opportunities for friction ; between the 
Governors, as occurred at the outset between Lord 
Dorchester and Simcoe ; between the provinces, 
for the reason already given ; between the races 
and religions, wherever French and English were 
brought into close contact ; between the two 
houses of the Legislature a species of political fric- 
tion which is common everywhere ; between the 
executive power on the one hand as represented 

1352-1 D 


by the Crown and the officers of the Crown, 
especially the Governor, and on the other the 
Legislature, or rather the elected branch of the 
Legislature, the main ground of dispute being 
control of the public purse. On the whole it may 
fairly be said that the history of Canada from 1791 
to the time of Lord Durham's mission is, with the 
exception of one interlude, the war of 1812, a 
record of friction of this last-named kind, coloured 
by race feeling and by the special conditions of 
the respective provinces. 

When the two Canadas received representative 
institutions, the French Canadians were thereby 
given a machinery which was familiar to English- 
men, but which had never previously been handled 
by Frenchmen in America. The French population 
consisted of an intensely conservative gentry and 
a wholly uneducated peasantry, both dominated 
by a Church, the essence of which was absolutism. 
As far as the French Canadians had any guidance 
in handling their new tools, it came from the 
British minority in Quebec and Montreal ; but not 
many years passed before the French began to 
better their instruction. With the early years 
of the nineteenth century Nationalist views gained 
ground, a French Canadian press came into 
existence, and, while French and English more or 
less combined against an administration which 
was out of touch with the people, and various 
officers of which, sent out from home, were 
notoriously unfit for their posts, the line of race 
cleavage became more and more distinct, and the 
struggle for popular control of the finances was 


embittered by being fought with French acuteness 
and French impatience of compromise. Mean- 
while Upper Canada, though as a whole intensely 
loyal to the British Crown, was leavened to 
some extent by American immigration. 

It has been stated that, during the earlier years 
of British rule in Canada, military men proved 
themselves to be sympathetic Governors of the 
French Canadians. As time went on, and the 
Canadians grew towards political manhood, the 
soldier, unless he was an exceptional man, was 
less likely than had previously been the case to 
be in harmony with conditions which were becom- 
ing increasingly democratic. In 1807, after a long 
interregnum, Sir James Craig came out as Governor- 
General, a soldier of tried worth, but with a soldier's 
views of discipline, which were not softened by ill 
health. He came into collision with the elected 
chamber of the Legislature in Lower Canada, had 
resort to repeated dissolutions, and put down with 
a high hand the Nationalist paper Le Canadien, 
which persistently vilified the Government. In 
a long dispatch to the Secretary of State, written 
in May 1810, in which he reviewed existing con- 
ditions in Lower Canada, Craig represented French 
and English in the province as bitterly opposed to 
each other. * The line of distinction between us,' 
he wrote, 'is completely drawn; friendship, cor- 
diality are not to be found, even common inter- 
course scarcely exists.' But, though the sentiment 
of French Canadian nationality was gathering 
force year by year, the struggle at this time was 
not so much a race conflict as a squabble between 

D 2 


the Executive and the Legislature, one of the 
Governor's leading opponents, whom he relieved 
of the office of Solicitor-General, being James 
Stuart, who was the son of a United Empire 
Loyalist, and who in after years was appointed 
by Lord Durham to be Chief Justice of Canada. 
It was during the governorship of Sir James Craig, 
in the year 1810, that the Quebec House of Assem- 
bly, in view of the prosperity of the province, 
offered to take upon themselves for the time being 
the whole charge of the civil administration. This 
offer, which came to nothing at the time, was much 
quoted at a later date. It meant that the elected 
representatives realized that power is in the hands 
of those who pay, and that so long as the Imperial 
Government, either by direct subsidies, or from 
territorial revenues, or from taxes levied under 
permanent Acts, paid a large proportion of the 
cost of the civil government of Canada, so long 
would the power be in the hands of the Governor 
and his officers as being the servants of the Imperial 
Government, and not in the hands of the Assembly 
which represented the people of Canada. Sir James 
Craig left Canada in 1811. His successor, Sir 
George Prevost, was a man of very different stamp. 
Prevost set himself to conciliate the French 
Canadians, and in that respect did good service 
to the Empire during the war of 1812, though in 
the actual operations of the war he did not dis- 
tinguish himself. Quebec was little troubled by 
the war, and the Assembly which sat there con- 
tinued to a large extent its vendetta against the 
existing system, impeaching the Chief Justice of 


Lower Canada on the ridiculous charge of having 
conspired against the civil liberties of the people. 
The war, however, had beyond question a whole- 
some effect in softening, under the influence of 
common danger, the jealousies and the animosities 
of race. French and English stood shoulder to 
shoulder to repel invasion, and some sense of unity 
came into Canada, effective at the time in reducing 
friction, salutary in after years as a memory of 
common patriotism. The brunt of the war fell 
upon Upper Canada, with the result that in this 
province, for the time being, all constitutional 
wrangles were swallowed up in a fight for national 
existence, and that the loyalty of the Loyalists to 
the British connexion was intensified. It may be 
said in brief that the war of 1812 did not affect 
the continuity of history in the Lower Province, 
whereas in the Upper Province it made a complete 
break and supplied a new starting-point. 

The war ended, and the old difficulties revived. 
In Lower Canada the judges were still harried by 
the Legislature. In Upper Canada the loyalty of 
those who had fought and suffered was tried by 
delays in settling arrears of pay and in giving 
grants of land, while the development of the 
province was retarded by restrictions on American 
immigration, which at the time were neither 
unreasonable nor unnecessary, as well as by the 
amount of land which was locked up in Crown and 
Clergy reserves. In 1816 Sir John Sherbrooke was 


appointed Governor-in-Chief of the two Canadas, 
and once more proved that a good soldier may 
be also a tactful and diplomatic administrator. 


Unfortunately his term of office was shortened by 
ill health, and only lasted for two years. Handling 
the political situation in Lower Canada with much 
skill, Sherbrooke brought to an end the quarrel 
with the judges. He detached support from 
Stuart, still a pronounced opponent of the Govern- 
ment, with the result that the latter for the time 
being retired into private life, and he worked in 
harmony with the Speaker of the Assembly, the 
future leader of rebellion in Lower Canada Louis 
Papineau. He then took stock of the finances of 
the provinces, which during the war had fallen 
into some confusion, and he warned the Secretary 
of State of the fact, which previously does not 
appear to have been fully appreciated at the 
Colonial Office, that the civil administration could 
not be carried on independently of the votes of the 
elected Assembly. It was on this point that the 
whole future conflict turned. Had the revenues 
which were at the disposal of the Crown been 
sufficient to meet the cost of the administration, 
the opposition of the Assembly to the Government 
would have had little practical effect, and there 
would have been no adequate lever for the grant of 
responsible government ; but, inasmuch as those 
revenues did not cover the annual charges of govern- 
ment, and the taxpayers of the United Kingdom 
could not be asked to make good the deficit, the 
executive power in Canada was so far at the mercy 
of the elected Assembly. 

The result of Sherbrooke's correspondence on 
this subject with Lord Bathurst, the Secretary of 
State, was that in the session of 1818 the Governor- 


General laid the estimates of the year before the 
Assembly, showing clearly what was the total 
estimated expenditure, what proportion of the 
total was covered by revenue at the disposal of the 
Crown, and how much the Legislature was asked to 
provide. He reminded the Assembly of the offer 
made by the elected representatives in 1810 to 
take upon themselves the whole cost of the civil 
administration, and after considerable debate the 
Assembly voted the sum whereby the total expendi- 
ture of the year exceeded the revenue at the 
disposal of the Crown. 

This result was largely due to personal respect 
for Sherbrooke, and the Assembly was not minded 
to make permanent provision for the expenses of 
the civil administration in the form of a Civil List, 
as the Home Government desired. Sherbrooke's 
successor, the Duke of Richmond, had therefore, 
in the following year, to face the same difficulty, 
and to face it without Sherbrooke's tact and 
influence. The estimates which he laid before the 
Assembly unfortunately showed a large increase 
on the expenditure side, and the Assembly took 
upon themselves to recast the budget, scrutinizing 
all the separate items, including the charges against 
the Crown revenues, and reducing or omitting 
salaries at will. In their reckless procedure they 
arrogated to themselves control of the finances to 
an extent which would not be paralleled at the 
present day either in the British House of Commons 
or in any colonial Parliament. The Bill which they 
sent up to the Legislative Council was promptly 
and rightly thrown out by that body, and a crisis 


then began which years afterwards ended in armed 
rebellion, in the suspension of the constitution in 
Lower Canada, and in Lord Durham's mission. 

The revenues at the disposal of the Crown in 
Lower Canada were twofold. There were in the 
first place certain rents and dues which had been 
paid to the French King and which had passed to 
his successor in title. They were known as the 
casual and territorial revenues of the Crown. 
* They are enjoyed by the Crown,' Lord Aylmer 
informed the Assembly in 1831, 'by virtue of the 
Royal Prerogative, and are neither more nor less 
than the proceeds of landed property, which legally 
and constitutionally belongs to the Sovereign on 
the throne.' * In the second place, there were the 
proceeds of certain taxes imposed by law, mainly 
the customs and licence duties received under the 
Imperial Quebec Revenue Act of 1774. These 
latter receipts, more especially, the Quebec Assem- 
bly designed to secure under their own control ; 
on the other hand they were the quid pro quo, by 
which the Imperial Government might hope to 
effect its object of obtaining a more or less perma- 
nent Civil List. 

In asking for a Civil List for the life of the King, 
the Imperial Government were only proposing that 
the practice which prevailed at the time in England 
should be followed in Canada. Prior to the 
accession of King William the Fourth, the term 
Civil List purported to mean the provision made 
out of the hereditary revenues of the Crown, 

1 Canada Crown Revenues : Return to an Address of the House of 
Commons, July 1831, p. 3. 


supplemented by the proceeds of certain taxes, 
which were placed at the disposal of the reigning 
sovereign to cover the ordinary civil expenses of 
the State (other than debt charges), including the 
expenses of the Court and the Royal Household. 
The recalcitrant Assembly in Lower Canada con- 
tended that the conditions of the province differed 
from those of England and would not allow of 
more than annual votes : they also contended 
that the Civil List as proposed for Canada was 
more extensive than the Civil List of the United 
Kingdom. Their contentions were ill founded : 
they were the contentions of a body of men who 
were mainly French in race and in cast of mind ; 
and who, being French, and having tasted the 
beginnings of political freedom, were intolerant of 
compromise. They wanted not merely the powers 
which the British House of Commons enjoyed, but 
more also. Oh the other hand, Lord Bathurst 
was insistent that the Assembly should have no 
authority to dispose of public money without the 
concurrence of the Upper Chamber, the Legislative^ 
Council, thereby restricting the powers of the 
Assembly as compared with those of the House of 
Commons. There was thus a great gulf fixed 
between the democrats and demagogues of Lower 
Canada on the one hand, and the conservative 
Imperial Government on the other, but there w r as 
still, at any rate, the semblance of loyalty to the 
Crown ; for, when King George the Third died, 
Louis Papineau took occasion to deliver an 
eloquent eulogy on the blessings which Canada 
owed to British rule. 


The Duke of Richmond was a Tory of the old 
school. He formulated for the confidential con- 
sideration of the Secretary of State proposals which 
were probably illegal, and were certainly imprac- 
ticable, whereby sufficient revenue should be 
secured to the Crown to make the Government of 
Lower Canada independent of the Legislature. 
His death under tragic circumstances, after he had 
only held office for one year, prevented any consti- 
tutional experiments such as he suggested from 
being tried. An able and high-minded Governor 
succeeded him, the Earl of Dalhousie. He took up 
his duties in June 1820, and did not finally leave 
Canada until September 1828. During the term 
of his government the quarrel between the Execu- 
tive and the Legislature became more and more 
embittered, and tended more and more to follow 
the lines of race. Unreasoning and unreasonable, 
the French Canadian majority in the Quebec House 
of Assembly stand condemned by their persistent 
hostility to a ruler so courteous and so public- 
spirited as was Lord Dalhousie. It must be borne 
in mind that the democratic movement in Canada 
was coincident with and parallel to the democratic 
movement in the United Kingdom. England \\ as 
gradually moving towards the great Reform Bill, 
while Papiiieau and his colleagues were refusing 
supplies and making speeches in Canada ; but 
there was no slow broadening out in French 
Canada ; and there was greater haste and bitter- 
ness in fighting for the fullness of liberty, in that the 
existing instalment of freedom had not been earned 
by long years of training and of steady growth. 


Lord Dalhousie's instructions were to aim at 
securing ' the permanent assignment of a fixed 
annual revenue to meet the charge of such a Civil 
List as the Province requires for its proper adminis- 
tration '- 1 This was precisely what the Quebec 
Assembly was determined not to concede. In 
their crusade against the Government the legis- 
lators of Lower Canada had been able to point to 
sinecures, to abuses in salaries and pensions, which 
they contended should be abolished, before the 
people were asked to make good an expenditure 
which included such items. The abuses existed 
and were notorious, but they were not peculiar 
to Canada : they were rife in England also ; and 
such Governors as Sherbrooke and Dalhousie 
objected to them as much as did Papineau and his 
friends. Their existence, however, gave material 
for agitation to the popular party, and so did the 
defalcation of the Receiver-General of Canada, an 
Imperial officer, which came to light in 1823. 
When Dalhousie first met the Legislature in 
December 1820, he set out clearly the average 
and recurrent cost of the civil administration of 
Lower Canada, and invited the Assembly to make 
permanent and adequate provision for it. The 
Assembly refused to give more than a vote for one 
year, and in doing so they introduced new items 
of expenditure and assumed control of the Crown 
revenues. Their Bill went up to the Legislative 
Council, who threw it out and coupled the rejection 
with strongly worded resolutions, the result of the 
quarrel between the two Houses being that the 

1 Dispatch of Lord Bathurst, September 11, 1820. 


Governor was left without any legal authority to 
meet the expenditure of the year. In December 
1821 the Legislature met again, and it was made 
clearer than before that the Assembly were only 
asked to make permanent provision for permanent 
expenditure, casual contingencies being left to be 
covered by annual votes. This time the direct 
issue was raised by a motion in the House that 
permanent provision should be made for the 
support of the civil administration of the province 
during the life of the King. The motion was lost 
by a majority of six to one ; the Assembly then 
embodied their grievances and views in an address 
to the King, refused to vote the necessary supplies 
for the coming year, and refused also or threatened 
to refuse to renew certain expiring Revenue Acts, 
so as entirely to cripple the Executive for want of 

At the same time, and by the same action, they 
were crippling Upper Canada, which was entitled 
to a share of the customs duties under the Acts in 
question ; and already the Upper Province, unable 
to obtain a satisfactory adjustment of its financial 
relations with Lower Canada, had asked for the 
intervention of the Imperial Government. The 
result was that in June 1822 the Under-Secretary f or 
the Colonies, Wilmot, afterwards Wilmot Horton, 
introduced a Bill into the House of Commons, 
' to make more effectual provision for the govern- 
ment of the Provinces of Lower and Upper Canada, 
and to regulate the trade thereof.' The Bill pro- 
vided for reunion of the provinces ; it was strongly 
supported on the Liberal side of the House by 


' Bear ' Ellice, with whom it had in fact originated ; 
but it was opposed by Mackintosh and some other 
Radical members, not so much on its merits as on 
the ground that the peoples and legislatures of the 
two provinces had not been given an opportunity 
of expressing their views. In consequence of this 
opposition, as the session was drawing to a close, the 
Government contented themselves with legislating 
on the subject of the financial relations between 
the two provinces, leaving the wider question of 
reunion to stand over for another session. Thus 
the Canada Trade Act was passed on the 5th of 
August 1822, and by its terms the Quebec Legis- 
lature was restricted from varying the customs 
duties levied at the ports of Lower Canada to the 
detriment of the Upper Province. Under existing 
conditions the Act was both necessary and salutary, 
but it was avowedly only an instalment, and the 
matter as a whole was badly handled. The British 
Government made the mistake so common in the 
colonial history of Great Britain, of putting their 
hand to the plough and looking back. They went 
forward, and stopped half-way. They proposed 
a large constitutional change, and, having given 
their scheme to the public, they did not carry the 
change through. At the same time they went far 
enough to override by Imperial legislation the 
representative Assembly of Lower Canada and to 
restrain their taxing powers. In short, there was 
interference from home with a colonial legislature, 
enough to irritate, but not enough to cure more 
than a part of the evil which it was sought to 
remedy. In speaking on the Reunion Bill Ellice 


warned the House of Commons that ' the only 
consequence of delay would be the excitement of 
feelings of animosity between the English and 
French inhabitants in the meantime, and that the 
House ultimately would find it absolutely necessary 
to pass the Bill V and years afterwards Lord 
Durham wrote in his Report (ii. 47) : 

' It is said that the appeals to the national pride 
and animosities of the French became more direct 
and general on the occasion of the abortive attempt 
to reunite Upper and Lower Canada in 1822, which 
the leaders of the Assembly viewed or represented 
as a blow aimed at the institutions of their province. 
The anger of the English was excited by the 
denunciations of themselves which, subsequently 
to this period, they were in the habit of hearing.' 

It had been intended by the Home Government 
to take up again the Reunion Bill, as soon as the 
people of Canada had had time to express their 
views upon it ; but the reception of the Bill in the 
two provinces was on the whole so unfavourable 
that no more was heard of it in the House of 
Commons. In Upper Canada opinion was divided, 
but such leading men as Dr. Strachan and Beverley 
Robinson were opposed to it. In Lower Canada 
the French Canadians were heart-whole in their 
opposition. They regarded the Bill, or professed 
to regard it, as an attempt to * anglify ' to 
denationalize French Canada. The English in the 
province were divided ; only in the Eastern Town- 
ships, unrepresented in the Quebec Legislature 
and chafing against French indifference to their 

1 Hansard for 1822, vol. vii, p. 1709 


interests, was there strong and solid backing of 
the Bill. The opponents of the measure at Montreal 
and Quebec sent Papineau and John Neilson, the 
latter being a Scotchman and a journalist, as their 
spokesmen to England : while Stuart, no longer in 
line with the French, took the lead of the party 
who favoured reunion. 

Papineau' s absence, and appreciation of the fact 
that the Canada Trade Act had been passed and 
that a Reunion Bill was pending, made the Quebec 
Legislature, which met again in January 1823, more 
amenable than before. The estimates, as presented 
to the Assembly, were divided into two schedules, 
one of which contained the general or permanent 
establishments, the cost of which was covered by 
the Crown revenues ; the other contained what 
were termed local establishments, for which the 
Assembly was asked to provide. The necessary 
supplies were voted, other useful work was done, 
and Lord Dalhousie closed the session with compli- 
ments and thanks. 

Soon after its close the announcement was made 
that the Imperial Government would not proceed 
with the Reunion Bill. Papineau came back to 
Quebec and to the Legislature ; and, when the 
Assembly met again towards the end of November 
1823, for the last session of an expiring Parliament, 
the irreconcilables had it their own way. Papineau 
distinguished himself by personalities against the 
Governor ; and when the estimates were brought 
in, arranged in two schedules as before, he and his 
followers assumed control of the whole finances 
and of all the establishments, and reduced the 


salaries, including the Governor's, by 25 per cent. 
The Bill which embodied these proceedings was at 
once thrown out by the Legislative Council. In 
this session, which lasted till the 9th of March 
1824, the majority of the Quebec Legislature found 
occasion to flout the wishes and injure the interests 
of the people of Upper Canada, as well as to cripple 
the administration and check the progress of their 
own province ; and when Lord Dalhousie closed 
the session, he pointed out the grave mischief 
which had resulted from the unwarranted and 
unconstitutional claim of the one branch of the 
Legislature ' to appropriate the whole revenue of 
the province according to its pleasure ', and the 
withholding of supplies in order to enforce the 
claim. ' This subject,' he continued, ' has occupied 
every session from the first to the last, and is now 
transmitted to those which shall follow. It has 
caused incalculable mischief to the province ; and 
now leaves it to struggle under difficulties, while 
every inhabitant of it must see that the encouraging 
aid of the Legislature is alone wanting to arouse 
powerful exertions and draw forth those resources 
which, without that aid, must, in a great measure, 
be dormant and useless within its reach.' 

On the 6th of June, 1824, Lord Dalhousie sailed 
for England on leave of absence, and the Lieutenant- 
Go vernor, Sir Francis Burton, took over the 
administration. Burton's case was one of those 
which had given the Quebec Assembly substantial 
ground for complaint. His commission as Lieu- 
tenant-Go vernor was dated November 1808, but 
he did not go out to Canada till 1822, after his 


absence had called forth remonstrances from the 
Legislature. Notwithstanding, he seems to have 
attained considerable popularity among the French 
Canadians, possibly because the opponents of the 
Government hoped thereby to emphasize their 
antipathy to Lord Dalhousie. A general election 
was held in July and August ; and in the following 
January the new Legislature met, Papineau being 
again chosen as Speaker, and an opportunity being 
found by the Government in the course of the 
session to secure their former opponent, James 
Stuart, for the post of Attorney- General. The 
Lieutenant-Governor brought in the estimates in 
a different form from that which had been adopted 
by Lord Dalhousie. He abandoned the two 
schedules, and with them the distinction which 
had been drawn between the charges against per- 
manent funds and those for which local votes were 
required. The estimates which he presented 
treated the whole expenditure as one, and he asked 
the Assembly to vote a sum sufficient to cover the 
excess of the total expenditure over the revenue 
provided by law. The Assembly went through the 
whole estimates, including the permanent establish- 
ments, and, after making large reductions, voted 
the sum which they considered to be adequate for 
one year. They had now, so they thought and 
hoped, made good their claim to control the 
disposal of all revenues, permanent as well as 
temporary, and to give supply only from year to 
year. So they held, and Lord Bathurst interpreted 
what had taken place in much the same sense, 
for, in a dispatch dated the 4th of June 1825, he 

1352-1 E 


severely censured Sir Francis Burton. Burton, it 
afterwards appeared, had acted with imperfect 
knowledge of previous instructions, and was 
consequently exculpated. The instructions to 
the Governor-General, said Lord Bathurst, in the 
dispatch referred to, had imposed upon him 

' the necessity of refusing all arrangements that 
went in any degree to compromise the integrity of 
the revenue known by the name of the permanent 
revenue ; and it appears to me, on a careful 
examination of the measures which have been 
adopted, that they are at variance with those 
specified and positive instructions. The Executive 
Government had sent in an estimate in which 110 
distinction was made between the expenditure 
chargeable upon the permanent revenue of the 
Crown and that which remained to be provided for 
out of the revenues raised under colonial Acts. In 
other words, had the whole revenue been raised 
under colonial Acts, there would have been no 
difference in the manner of sending in the estimates. 
. . . Instead of the King's permanent revenue 
having certain fixed charges placed upon it, of 
which the Assembly were made cognisant, the 
revenue was pledged together with the colonial 
revenue, as the ways and means of providing for 
the expenses of the year. . . . The consequence of 
this arrangement is, that the permanent revenue 
will not be applied for the payment of such expenses 
as His Majesty may deem fit, but on the contrary, 
for the payment of whatever expenses the colonial 
Legislature may think necessary.' x 

This misunderstanding about the estimates made 
Lord Dalhousie's position more difficult than ever. 

1 This dispatch will be found printed at pp. 93-4 of vol. iii of Christie's 
History of Lower Canada. 


He returned from England in September 1825 : 
the Legislature met again in January 1826, and 
in February he laid before them the estimates, 
divided into two parts, as they had been before 
Sir Francis Burton tried his hand at compromise. 
The Secretary of State's criticism of Burton was 
communicated to the Assembly later in the session, 
but the only result, as far as the Assembly were 
concerned, was an Appropriation Bill in the same 
form as that to which Lord Bathurst had taken 
exception, and a claim, formulated at once in 
Resolutions of the House and in an Address to the 
King, ' that to the Legislature alone appertains 
the right of distributing all monies levied in the 
colonies.' Lord Dalhousie, on the other hand, in 
proroguing the Legislature, intimated very cour- 
teously that he must continue to adopt the form 
of estimates ' showing to you one branch of the 
revenue for your information, and the other branch 
for your appropriation '.* 

In the next session, however, which opened in 
January 1827, Lord Dalhousie did make a change 
in the form in which he presented the estimates 
to the Assembly, for he laid before them an estimate 
of that portion only of the year's expenditure which 
would not be a charge against permanent revenues, 
thus removing the latter from the purview of the 
elected representatives. The latter retorted by 
practically refusing supply, and they added to the 
difficulties of the Government by refusing to renew 
the militia laws, and thereby recalling into existence 
two old ordinances on the subject, which the 

1 Christie, vol. iii, pp. 106-7. 
E 2 


Governor-General found himself bound to enforce, 
and in enforcing which he encountered disloyalty 
and intrigue. 

In July 1827 he dissolved the Parliament : 
a general election left matters much as they were : 
the new Legislature met in November : Papineau 
was again chosen as Speaker : in view of his 
virulent opposition to the Government and personal 
insults to the head of the Government, Lord Dal- 
housie refused to confirm the choice : and, as the 
majority of the Assembly upheld their champion, 
the Legislature was prorogued before any business 
had been transacted. Petitions and counter -peti- 
tions were now drawn up, and delegates were sent 
to England in the Spring of 1828. Shortly after 
their departure, Lord Dalhousie learnt that he had 
been appointed to be commander-in-chief of the 
forces in India, and in September 1828 he finally 
left Canada, having, in an impossible position and 
amid every form of malignant misrepresentation, 
held the reins of government with dignity, impar- 
tiality, and a single eye to the welfare of the 
Canadian people. 

In England there had been changes. In April 
1827 Lord Liverpool resigned, and Lord Bathurst 
left the Colonial Office, having presided over it for 
a longer time than any Secretary of State before or 
since. For three and a half months in Canning's 
administration Lord Goderich was Colonial Secre- 
tary. In July 1827 he wrote a dispatch offering 
to hand over the revenues of the Crown to the 
Assembly in exchange for a Civil List of 36,000 per 
annum, but, as the Assembly never met for business, 


the dispatch could not be communicated to them, 
and if it had been laid before the House, the offer 
would have been at once refused. Huskisson suc- 
ceeded Goderich, again only for a few months 
from the middle of August 1827 till the end of May 
1828, and, while he was Secretary of State, he 
moved in the House of Commons, on the 2nd of 
May 1828, that a select committee should be 
appointed to inquire into the state of the Civil 
Government of Canada, as established by the 
Act of 1791. 

When the Duke of Richmond came out to govern 
Canada in 1818, his son-in-law, Sir Peregrine Mait- 
land, came with him to take up the appointment 
of Lieutenant-Governor of Upper Canada. Mait- 
land had served with much distinction in the 
Peninsula, and had commanded the First Brigade 
of Guards at Waterloo. In later years he was 
Governor of the Cape. He took up his appoint- 
ment in Upper Canada in the midst of an agitation 
against the Government, which had been excited 
by Robert Gourlay, a well-meaning but crack- 
brained Scotchman, who attributed the stagnation 
of the province to the obstructive character of the 
Government, and who was taken too seriously- 
being tried and imprisoned by a course of proce- 
dure which was harsh and impolitic as well as of 
doubtful legality. In March 1822 Sir John Sher- 
brooke, now living in retirement, who had been 
consulted by Lord Bathurst as to the advisability 
of reuniting the two provinces, wrote that ' I could 
not avoid remarking when I was in Upper Canada, 
that in many instances a stronger bias prevailed in 


favour of the American than of the British form 
of government.' l Already, before Maitland's arrival, 
there had been in Upper Canada friction between 
the two Houses, and a protest had been made 
by the elected Assembly against the Executive 
Council being composed of men who were members 
of the Upper House. Maitland introduced into 
the Upper Province a similar classification of the 
finances to that which was made in Lower Canada, 
marking off the King's revenues from those which 
depended on the votes of the Assembly, and he 
took his advisers from a circle of able and patriotic 
though not democratic men, such as Beverley 
Robinson and Dr. Strachan, who were subse- 
quently grouped under the name of the ' Family 
Compact '. Thus there grew up year by year 
antagonism between a more or less despotic 
Government, and the general community, the most 
loyal part of which, the United Empire Loyalists, 
had yet brought into their new homes the tradi- 
tions of self-government, while the least loyal were 
leavened by American Republicanism. It is true 
that the feeling was not all dangerous, and the 
administration was not all reactionary. A law 
passed in 1820 for ' increasing the representation 
of the Commons of this province in the House 
of Assembly' was a wise and liberal measure of 
electoral reform, and the resentment of the people 
of Upper Canada against the French Canadian 
majority in the Quebec Assembly for crippling 
their customs revenue, which led to an appeal to 
the Imperial Government and to the passing of 

See Canadian Constitutional Development (Egerton and Grant), p. 125. 


the Canada Trade Act, diluted to some extent 
their discontent with their own administration. 
Yet it was under Maitland's regime that the men 
came to the front who were afterwards prominent 
in constitutional agitation or in open rebellion, 
among others Marshall Spring Bidwell, son of an 
American immigrant, Barnabas Bidwell, who was 
elected to the Assembly in 1825, and subsequently 
became Speaker, Dr. Rolph, and William Lyon 
Mackenzie, the last of whom started in 1824 an 
anti-Government paper, the Colonial Advocate, and 
in after years played much the same part in Upper 
Canada that Papineau played in the Lower 
Province. In 1828 Sir Peregrine Maitland was 
succeeded as Lieutenant-Governor of Upper Canada 
by Sir John Colborne, another veteran soldier of 
the Napoleonic wars, who had commanded the 
far-famed 52nd regiment at Waterloo. 

The Select Committee of the House of Commons 
which, at Huskisson's instance, had been appointed 
to inquire into the state of the Civil Government 
of Canada, reported in July 1828. By this time 
Huskisson had left the Duke of Wellington's 
administration, and his place as Secretary of State 
for War and the Colonies had been taken by Sir 
George Murray. The report, though a short one, 
covered much ground, and was not wanting in 
sympathy with the complaints which had come 
from Canada. On the vital question in Lower 
Canada, the control of the public revenues, its 
terms were as follows : 

' Although, from the opinion given by the 
Law Officers of the Crown, your Committee must 


conclude that the legal right of appropriating the 
revenues arising from the Act of 1774 is vested in 
the Crown, they are prepared to say that the real 
interests of the provinces would be best promoted 
by placing the receipt and expenditure of the 
whole public revenue under the superintendence 
and control of the House of Assembly.' 

The Committee advised that the Governor, the 
members of the Executive Council, and the judges 
should be rendered 

' independent of the annual votes of the House of 
Assembly for their respective salaries . . . and if 
the officers above enumerated are placed on the 
footing recommended, they are of the opinion 
that all the revenues of the province (except the 
territorial and hereditary revenues) should be 
placed under the control and direction of the 
Legislative Assembly.' 

It was suggested that in both the Canadas 
a more independent character should be given to 
the Upper Houses, the Legislative Councils, and 
4 that the majority of their members should not 
consist of persons holding offices at the pleasure of 
the Crown', but the Committee were not prepared 
under existing circumstances to recommend the 
union of the two provinces. Various other subjects, 
including land tenure in Lower Canada, the dis- 
posal of the estates which had belonged to the 
Jesuits, and the Clergy reserves in Upper Canada, 
were dealt with in the report, and a kind of post- 
script advised ' strict and instant inquiry ' into 
the allegations which had been made against Lord 
Dalhousie's administration, and which had been 
brought up at a late stage of the proceedings. 


The Committee had only sat for between two and 
three months, and their work had been hurried. 
Their reference to the charges against Lord Dal- 
housie was unfair to the latter in creating a pre- 
sumption that the charges were true, and the 
recommendations made in the report were, in the 
main, too general to give much guidance towards 
a detailed and practical solution of the difficulties. 
Meanwhile Sir James Kempt, reputed to have been 
a personal friend of Huskisson's, had succeeded 
Lord Dalhousie, but as Administrator only, not 
as Governor-General. He was another veteran 
soldier, had been Quartermaster-General of the 
Forces in Canada when Sir James Craig was 
Governor, and had followed Lord Dalhousie as 
Lieutenant-Governor of Nova Scotia. As Adminis- 
trator of Canada, he did little more than mark 
time for two years, when in October 1830 he was 
succeeded by Lord Aylmer. Kempt's opening 
speech to the Legislature had been prescribed for 
him by Sir George Murray, who also addressed to 
him a dispatch for communication to the Legis- 
lature dealing with some of the matters which had 
come under the purview of the Select Committee. 
The Secretary of State laid down that, while the 
Imperial Statutes on the subject continued in 
existence, the revenues raised under their pro- 
visions could not be handed over to the control 
of the Provincial Legislature, but that after the 
salaries of the Governor and of the judges had been 
met from this source, the balance of the funds 
would not be appropriated until the Assembly had 
had an opportunity of advising as to the best 


method in which it could be applied to the public 
service. The dispatch went on to say that a scheme 
was in contemplation * for the permanent settle- 
ment of the financial concerns of Lower Canada '. 
This scheme was embodied in a Bill introduced 
into the House of Commons in 1829 by Sir George 
Murray, but not passed into law, whereby it was 
intended to hand over to the Canadian Assemblies 
the proceeds arising from the Imperial Act of 1774 
in return for a Civil List. Murray's dispatch pro- 
duced no effect, and the Quebec Assembly still 
arrogated control of the whole public revenues. 
The session of 1828-9 in Lower Canada, however, 
resulted in one important new electoral law, where- 
by the Eastern Townships were given eight repre- 
sentatives in the Assembly ; and in 1830 another 
grievance of the Townships was temporarily reme- 
died by the establishment in these districts of 
Land Registry Offices. 

Lord Aylmer, a soldier like his predecessors in 
the Government of Canada, held office, for a few 
months as Administrator and subsequently as 
Governor-General, from October 1830 to August 
1835. Meanwhile the Reform Ministry came into 
power in England, and Lord Goderich, afterwards 
Earl of Ripon, went to the Colonial Office. Both 
Secretary of State and Governor-General were bent 
on a policy of conciliation, and by the Secretary 
of State's instructions Lord Aylmer, in February 
1831, offered to the Assembly to hand over to 
their control all the Crown revenues, other than the 
casual and territorial revenues, in return for a Civil 
List for the life of the King. The amount to be 


handed over was estimated at 38,000 per annum, 
the casual and territorial revenues at over 7,000 
per annum, and the cost of the Civil List at 19,500, 
which included the salaries of the Governor, the 
Civil Secretary, the judges, and the law officers. 
The offer fared no better than previous offers of 
the kind ; the Assembly persisted in their opposi- 
tion and in their claims ; they refused to grant 
a Civil List, and embodied a statement of their 
grievances in a petition to the King. The Home 
Government meanwhile continued its efforts at 
conciliation. A dispatch, written in February 1831, 
while Lord Aylmer was sounding the Assembly, 
intimated that in the event of permanent provision 
being made for the payment of the judicial salaries, 
the judges should in future hold office during good 
behaviour and not at the Royal pleasure, thereby 
securing their independence both of the Royal 
authority and of the control of the popular branch 
of the Legislature. The dispatch at the same time 
laid down that no judge would in future be nomi- 
nated as a member either of the Executive or of 
the Legislative Council, with the single exception 
of the Chief Justice of Quebec, who would remain 
a member of the Legislative Council of the Lower 
Province, in order to advise on permanent legisla- 
tion, while at the same time abstaining from party 
politics. In a later dispatch, dated the 7th of July, 
Lord Goderich answered in detail the complaints 
which had been embodied in the petition to the 
King, and gave every indication of meeting to the 
utmost within reason the wishes of the Assembly. 
Yet another dispatch, written in November of the 


same year, dealt with the disposal of Crown lands, 
and laid down that for free grants open sale in 
the public market ought to be substituted. Nor 
did the Imperial Government content itself with 
friendly dispatches from the Secretary of State and 
instructions to the Governor to move along the 
path of constitutional reform. Before the session 
of 1831 ended in England, a law was passed in 
September whereby the revenues which the Crown 
had controlled under the Quebec Revenue Act of 
1774 were handed over unconditionally to the 
Legislatures of the two Canadian Provinces. These 
were revenues which had hitherto been offered in 
return for a Civil List, and they were now ceded 
in the hope that the Legislatures would repay con- 
fidence with confidence, and having freely received 
would freely give. In the case of Upper Canada 
the confidence was not misplaced, for the Legis- 
lature voted a Civil List, but the Quebec Assembly 
took what was given and made no return. The 
act was a grave mistake. It deprived the Imperial 
Government of a lever, which had hitherto been 
in its hands, for bringing the French Canadian 
Assembly at Quebec into line with the House of 
Commons in England, and it left hardly any funds 
in Canada at the absolute disposal of the Crown 
other than the casual and territorial revenues. 
The Duke of Wellington protested against the Bill 
in the House of Lords, but the protest was unheeded, 
and, armed with greater powers, the Quebec 
Assembly became more unmanageable than ever. 

The Secretary of State invited from that Assem- 
bly, in return for the concessions which had been 


made, a law securing the independence of the 
judges and providing permanently for their salaries, 
and also a small Civil List to cover the salaries of 
the Governor and four of the principal officers. 
In the session of the Quebec Legislature of 1831-2 
a Bill was passed nominally securing the inde- 
pendence of the judges, but leaving their salaries 
dependent upon annual votes and claiming the right 
of the Assembly to control the casual and territorial 
revenues ; while a Civil List amounting only to 
5,900 was rejected. The Imperial Government 
disallowed the Judicial Bill, and intimated that 110 
further application would be made to the Assembly 
for a Civil List, but that the Civil List charges 
(other than the salaries of the judges) would be 
met from the funds which still remained at the 
disposal of the Crown. Meanwhile an election riot 
at Montreal in 1832, which resulted in two or three 
deaths from the firing of the soldiers, embittered 
political feeling ; the dismissal from office of the 
able Attorney-General Stuart, who had been 
specially obnoxious to and virulently assailed by 
the Assembly, gave to that body an added sense 
of power and increased their aggressiveness ; the 
incorporation of the British American Land Com- 
pany, which was formed to develop the lands in 
the Eastern Townships, and which came into 
existence about the year 1833, was resented by the 
French Canadians as an attempt to anglicize the 
province ; and year by year added to the intensity 
of race feeling and to the impossibility of com- 
promise 011 constitutional lines. 

Early in 1833 Lord Goderich was succeeded as 


Secretary of State for the Colonies by Mr. Stanley, 
afterwards Earl of Derby. In June 1834 Stanley 
was succeeded by Spring Rice. During Sir Robert 
Peel's short administration in 1834-5 Lord Aber- 
deen was Secretary of State, and when Lord 
Melbourne returned to power in 1835, Lord Glenelg 
went to the Colonial Office. The contumacy of the 
Quebec Assembly culminated in February 1834 
in a kind of Petition of Rights embodied in ninety- 
two resolutions, which, among other points, de- 
manded an elective Legislative Council, held up 
the United States as a model for Canada, and 
called for the impeachment of the Governor- 
General. In the House of Commons the French 
Canadians had now found a spokesman violent 
enough for their purpose in John Arthur Roebuck, 
member for Bath, who in April 1834 moved for 
the appointment of a Committee ' to inquire into 
the means of remedying the evils which exist 
in the form of government now existing in Upper 
and Lower Canada '. Stanley met his attack by 
moving for a Select Committee to inquire into and 
report how far the recommendations of the Com- 
mittee of 1828 had been carried out, and to inquire 
into the other grievances set forward by the 
Assembly of Lower Canada, the scope of the 
Committee being confined to the Lower Province. 
This Committee, which included all the members 
of the earlier 1828 Committee who still had seats 
in the House of Commons, reported at the beginning 
of July, but its report was confined to a few lines 
stating that the Home Government had shown the 
greatest anxiety to carry out the recommendations 


made by the Committee of 1828, that the efforts 
had been in part successful, but in part had failed 
owing to the differences between the two Houses 
of the Legislature, and between the Assembly 
and the Imperial Government, and that the com- 
mittee thought it unadvisable to express any 
opinion on the points at issue, or to lay the evidence 
which they had taken before the House, being 
persuaded ' that the practical measures for the 
future administration of Lower Canada may best 
be left to the mature consideration of the Govern- 
ment responsible for their adoption and execution '. 
This report left matters where they were : possibly 
the members of the Committee were unwilling to 
exhibit divergent views, or they were minded to 
keep the House of Commons outside the contro- 
versy between the Imperial Government and the 
Quebec Assembly. 

In Lower Canada matters went from bad to 
worse. A new general election, held in the autumn 
of 1834, resulted in further strengthening Papi- 
neau's following, and the British element in Lower 
Canada, now thoroughly alarmed, formed consti- 
tutional associations at Quebec and Montreal. The 
withholding of supplies had meant withholding 
of the salaries of the public officials, and to relieve 
the position, the Secretary of State, Spring Rice, 
authorized in September 1834 an advance of 
31,000 from the military chest. This action of the 
Home Government was made a fresh grievance 
on the part of the French Canadian majority, when 
the new Parliament met in 1835, for they regarded 
it, to quote their own words, as 'destroying the 


wholesome and constitutional influence which the 
people ought to have through their representatives 
over every branch of the Executive Government '. 
The Legislature met on the 21st of February 1835, 
and was prorogued on the 18th of March, as the 
Assembly declined to transact any further business. 
In April, Lord Aylmer published a dispatch from 
Lord Aberdeen in which it was stated that the Govern- 
ment Sir Robert Peel's Ministry had decided to 
send out a Royal Commissioner to Lower Canada. 
It had been at first intended to send Manners 
Sutton, Viscount Canterbury, who had been Speaker 
of the House of Commons, and when he declined, 
the second Lord Amherst was offered and accepted 
the appointment ; but the change of Ministry, which 
took place before he could leave England, resulted 
in different arrangements for the mission and 
a different personnel. It is not quite clear what 
were contemplated by Sir Robert Peel and Lord 
Aberdeen to have been the relations between Lord 
Amherst, had he gone out, and Lord Aylmer ; but 
apparently Lord Amherst was, like Lord Durham 
at a later date, designated both as High Com- 
missioner for the special purpose of investigating 
the grievances of which the Quebec Assembly had 
so abundantly complained, and also as Governor, 
so that Lord Aylmer would have been superseded 
for the time being, but not necessarily recalled. 
When Lord Melbourne returned to office and Lord 
Glenelg became Colonial Secretary, Lord Aylmer 
was told, though in flattering terms, that his ad- 
ministration must be considered to be terminated, 
and it was decided to send out three Royal Com- 


missioners, the Chairman of the Commission being 
also appointed Governor-in-Chief of the two 
Canadas and of the other British North American 
provinces, with the exception of Newfoundland. 
The man selected for the post was an Irish peer, 
the Earl of Gosford, who was the first civilian 
Governor of Canada since it became a British 
possession, and his colleagues as Commissioners 
were Sir George Gipps, afterwards Governor of 
New South Wales, and Sir Charles Grey, a retired 
Indian judge. Gipps was an exponent of Whig 
views, as they were then understood. Grey was 
an exponent of Tory principles, and as such was 
credited with being a nominee of King William 
the Fourth. The Secretary to the Commission was 
T. F. Elliot, a member of the Colonial Office, after- 
wards Assistant Under-Secretary of State for the 
Colonies. The Commissioners reached Quebec 
on the 23rd of August 1835, and on the 17th of 
September Lord Aylmer left for England, regarded 
by the British population of Canada as sacrificed 
to the clamour of a disloyal majority. 

What were in rough outline the main demands 
of the majority at this date, and what was the 
tenor of Lord Glenelg's instructions to the Com- 
missioners ? The Quebec Assembly had many 
grievances real or alleged, but the points on which 
they specially laid stress were the following. In 
the first place, they demanded unconditional con- 
trol of all the public revenues of every kind. In 
the second place, they demanded an elective Legis- 
lative Council. In the third place, they attacked 
the composition of the Executive Council. In the 

1352-1 F 


fourth place, they complained of the way in which 
the patronage of the Crown had been exercised 
in the matter of appointments. Fifthly, they de- 
manded the repeal of the Imperial statutes dealing 
with the tenure of land in Lower Canada ; and 
sixthly, in connexion with the disposal of waste 
lands, they demanded that the charter given to 
the British American Land Company should be 
cancelled. They had not hitherto in so many words 
demanded that the Executive Council should be 
responsible to the Legislature, but the essence of 
their demands was to obtain full control of all the 
Executive offices by securing entire command of all 
the means of paying them ; and their hostility to 
the British American Land Company was dictated 
not only by seeing in it an agency for increasing 
the proportion of the British population of the 
province, but also by appreciating that the pay- 
ments made by the Company to the Crown added 
to the revenues which were withheld from the 
elected Assembly. 

Lord Glenelg's instructions were embodied in 
terms indicating the utmost desire of the Home 
Government to meet, as far as possible, the wishes 
of the Assembly ; but he laid down, as necessary 
preliminaries to handing over all the remaining 
Crown revenues to popular control, that provision 
should be made for securing the independence of 
the judges, that an adequate Civil List should be 
granted, that the management of the waste lands 
of the province, as opposed to the receipts from 
those lands, should remain with the Crown, and 
that existing pensions of retired public officers 


should be continued. He authorized inquiry into 
the constitution of the Legislative Council, but 
pointed out, without in so many words vetoing 
the proposal, that the introduction of the elective 
principle in connexion with that Council would be 
a constitutional change of the gravest and most 
vital kind. He instructed the Commissioners to 
consider any amendment which would increase the 
efficiency of the Executive Council ; to investigate 
the tenures of land in the province, including the 
seigniorial rights claimed by the Sulpicians in and 
around Montreal ; and to advise whether or not 
any further charters should be granted by the 
Crown, such as had been given to the British 
American Land Company. He also directed atten- 
tion to the state of education in Lower Canada, 
and to the possibility of so adjusting the financial 
relations between the two Canadian provinces as 
to admit of the repeal of the Canada Trade Act. 

Cotemporaneously with the instructions to the 
Commissioners, Lord Glenelg addressed a dispatch 
to Lord Gosford, not as Chief Commissioner but as 
Governor, in which he dealt with such complaints 
of the Assembly as needed no investigation, but 
could be dealt with at once by the executive 
authority of the Governor. Prominent among 
these was the alleged abuse of patronage, as to 
which the Secretary of State reiterated and 
enlarged previous instructions. It is worth while 
to quote Lord Glenelg's own words on this subject, 
as the allegation that French Canadians had been 
unduly excluded ' not only from the larger number, 
but from all the more lucrative and honourable of 


the public employments in their native country ', 
was, if true, the moat reasonable and substantial of 
the grievances. Adopting ' in their fullest extent ' 
instructions, which he said had been given by Lord 
Goderich, to exercise ' the utmost impartiality in 
the distribution of public offices in Lower Canada, 
without reference to national or political distinc- 
tions, or to any consideration, except that of 
superior capacity and fitness for the trust ', Lord 
Glenelg went on, somewhat inconsistently, to 
suggest that modified preference might be given 
to French Canadians. 

' Your Lordship will remember that between 
persons of equal or not very dissimilar pretensions, 
it may be fit that the choice should be made in 
such a manner as in some degree to satisfy the 
claims which the French inhabitants may reasonably 
urge to be placed in the enjoyment of an equal 
share of the Royal favour. There are occasions 
also on which the increased satisfaction of the 
public at large with an appointment, might amply 
atone for some inferiority in the qualifications of 
the persons selected.' 1 

He then laid down that the patronage of the 
Governor in making appointments should be sub- 
ject to the approval of the Secretary of State, and 
that the general rule should be, as it had been, 
to appoint residents in Lower Canada. In other 
points of detail, which need not be specified, Lord 
Glenelg enjoined on the outgoing Governor con- 
sonance with the wishes of the Assembly. Assuredly, 
never was the Home Government more anxious to 
work in harmony with public feeling in a colony 

1 See House of Commons Paper, No. 113, March 1836, pp. 47-8. 


than was the British Government in its relations 
to Lower Canada in the year 1835. 

Lord Gosford called the Quebec Legislature 
together on the 27th of October 1835. In his 
opening speech he gave, as desired by Lord Glenelg, 
the substance of his own instructions and of those 
to the Royal Commissioners ; and intimating that 
one object of the coming inquiry was to hand over, 
on such conditions as should be carefully matured, 
the whole of the revenues of Lower Canada to the 
control of the elected representatives, he invited 
the Assembly to make good the arrears of salary 
due to the public officers and to continue to provide 
for their pay while the inquiry was taking its course. 
The Session dragged on until, in February 1836, 
the Assembly learnt from a letter written to 
Papineau, Speaker of the Assembly of the Lower 
Province, by Marshall Bidwell, Speaker of the 
Assembly of Upper Canada, that Sir Francis Bond 
Head, the new Lieutenant-Governor of Upper 
Canada, had communicated to the Legislature of 
that Province verbatim extracts of the Instruc- 
tions to the Commissioners. These were alleged 
to be at variance with the substance of the instruc- 
tions as contained in Lord Gosford' s opening 
speech, and, following Papineau' s lead, the Assem- 
bly voted supplies for six months only and drew 
up a fresh address of grievances to the King. The 
Supply Bill was thrown out by the Legislative 
Council as not being in accordance with what the 
Government had requested, and for a fourth year 
in succession Lower Canada was left without legal 
supplies to carry on the public service. The 


Legislature was prorogued on the 21st of March 

Before the prorogation took place, Papineau had 
written to Bidwell a violent letter, attacking the 
Home Government, and inviting the co-operation 
of the Assembly of Upper Canada in the struggle 
in which Lower Canada was engaged. Meanwhile 
Lord Gosford and the other two Commissioners 
continued an inquiry which was already doomed 
to failure. They were not at one, and their reports 
were accompanied by qualifying minutes and 
counter minutes by Sir Charles Grey and Sir George 
Gipps. The first report, dated the 30th of January 
1836, dealt with the proposed Civil List and the 
conditions upon which the Crown revenues should 
be ceded to the Assembly, the recommendations 
being made on the assumption that they would 
not be carried into effect until the Legislature had 
made good the outstanding arrears of salary to 
the public servants. A second report, dated the 
12th of March, dealt with the position which had 
arisen owing to the Assembly having shelved the 
question of these arrears until their demands 
should have been complied with, and noted that 
those demands now included making the Executive 
Council responsible to the Legislature. The Com- 
missioners came to the conclusion that, under the 
circumstances, the best course to adopt was to 
repeal the Imperial Act of 1831 by which the taxes 
levied under the Quebec Revenue Act of 1774 had 
been handed over to the Provincial Legislature. 
A third report at the beginning of May dealt with 
reform of the Executive Council, again negativing 


the responsibility of that Council to the Legisla- 
ture. A fourth report in June contradicted state- 
ments made with regard to the Commission by 
Mr. Roebuck in a pamphlet distributed to mem- 
bers of the House of Commons. A fifth report in 
October dealt with the seigniorial rights of the 
Seminary of St. Sulpice at Montreal ; and a 
sixth report in November, a general report, dealt 
with the Legislative Council, tenures of land, and 
other matters indicated in the instructions. Sir 
Charles Grey left for England shortly afterwards, 
Sir George Gipps and Mr. Elliot followed in the 
spring of 1837, and Lord Gosford was left to face 
alone what had long been an impossible position. 

The Commissioners, in recommending the repeal 
of the Act of 1831, and the resumption by the 
Imperial Government of control of the revenues 
which had been handed over to the Assembly, had 
not taken sufficient account of the effect which 
such a strong measure might have produced on 
public opinion in the other British North American 
provinces. There was discontent in Upper Canada 
and New Brunswick, and there was danger lest 
they should make common cause with Lower 
Canada. This danger was present to Lord Glenelg 
and his colleagues. Accordingly they rejected the 
proposal, and in a dispatch of the 7th of June, 
which answered the last Address from the Quebec 
Assembly to the King, Lord Glenelg directed 
Lord Gosford to lay the whole of the Instructions 
to the Commissioners before the Assembly, in order 
to clear away the misapprehension which was 
supposed to have arisen, arid again to invite pay- 


inent of the arrears of salaries and provision of 
adequate supplies. Lord Gosford did as he was 
instructed. He summoned the Legislature on the 
22nd of September 1836, laid before them copies 
of the Instructions, and communicated Lord 
Glenelg's dispatch as an answer to the address 
from the Assembly to the King. The only result 
was that the Assembly still refused to comply with 
the Secretary of State's wishes, still persisted in 
their demands, especially in that for an elected 
Legislative Council, that they referred to existing 
conditions as a ' system of metropolitan ascendancy 
and colonial degradation', and that the Legisla- 
ture was prorogued on the 4th of October without 
having transacted any business or passed any laws. 
It was now time for the Imperial Parliament 
to interfere, and the ministry was encouraged 
in taking action by the fact that public feeling in 
Upper Canada and in New Brunswick had under- 
gone a change, which seemed to indicate that 
the attitude of the Assembly at Quebec would no 
longer find much support in those provinces. The 
Session opened in England on the 31st of January 
1837 ; the King's Speech directed the special 
attention of Parliament to the state of affairs in 
Lower Canada ; the Reports of the Commissioners 
were laid before both Houses ; and on the 6th of 
March Lord John Russell moved ten Resolutions 
in the House of Commons. The Resolutions pro- 
vided for making good the outstanding arrears of 
pay, by empowering the Governor-General to apply 
to that purpose the revenues in the hands of the 
Receiver-General of the province ; they negatived 


the demand for an elective Legislative Council, 
for the introduction of the principle of responsi- 
bility to the Legislature into the Executive Council, 
and for the cancellation of the charter of the 
British American Land Company ; they promised 
repeal of the tenures Acts, as soon as a law adequate 
for the purpose should have been passed by the 
provincial Legislature ; they proposed to hand 
over to the Legislature the net proceeds of the 
remaining Crown revenues, as soon as a Civil 
List should have been voted covering the judicial 
expenditure and the salaries of the principal civil 
officers ; and they authorized the Legislatures of 
the two Canadian provinces to make provision 
for adjusting the trade disputes between the two 
provinces. The Resolutions did not pass without 
debate. In addition to Roebuck, various members, 
such as Hume, O'Connell, and Sir William Moles- 
worth, keenly opposed the Government ; while in 
Canada, so cool and experienced a judge of local con- 
ditions as Sir John Colborne, who was at the time 
at Quebec in command of the troops, wrote of the 
eighth Resolution, whereby provincial funds were 
to be appropriated to the payment of arrears : ' The 
eighth resolution, of seizing money which does not 
belong to us, must produce further coercion on 
the part of Ministers.' x By the middle of May, 
however, all the Resolutions had been carried 
through both Houses of Parliament, and steps were 
taken to bring in a Bill to give to them the force 
of law. 

On the 22nd of May Lord Glenelg wrote to Lord 

1 Letter dated Quebec, June 5, 1837 (Life of Lord Seaton, 1903, p. 277). 


Gosford, directing him to call the Legislature to- 
gether again, and once more to invite the Assembly 
to make good the arrears and to vote supplies, 
so as to render it unnecessary to have recourse 
to the powers which the Imperial Parliament was 
about to embody in the form of a law. 

Shortly afterwards the King died, and, unwilling 
that the reign of Queen Victoria should open with 
a measure of coercion, the Government, at the 
beginning of July, obtained a vote of credit to meet 
the immediate requirements of the administration 
in Lower Canada and remitted legislation to a new 
Parliament. When Lord John Russell's Resolu- 
tions became known in Lower Canada, they caused 
much excitement : indignation meetings were held 
by the partisans of the Assembly, Dr. Wolfred 
Nelson, who lived on the Richelieu river, taking 
a prominent part in the agitation, and Papineau 
being extolled as the Canadian counterpart of 
O'Connell. Lord Gosford, in accordance with his 
instructions, called together the Quebec Legislature 
on the 18th of August, but the Assembly replied 
to his opening speech by a protest against the 
Royal Commissioners and the Home Government, 
and by demanding that the Resolutions passed -by 
the two Houses of Parliament should be rescinded. 
The Governor, therefore, on the 26th of August, 
prorogued the Legislature, and with the proroga- 
tion, as events proved, came the end of the 
Constitution which had been framed for Lower 
Canada under the Act of 1791. 

It is now time to give an outline of what had 
been taking place in the other provinces of British 


North America. Sir John Colborne became Lieu- 
tenant-Governor of Upper Canada in November 
1828. The Report of the Select Committee of the 
House of Commons upon the Civil Government of 
Canada, which had been made in the previous 
July, together with the evidence which had been 
taken by the Committee, pointed to the conclusion 
that the two main grievances in this province 
were the want of independence in the Legislative 
Council, which was little more than a mouthpiece 
of the Government, or rather of the dominant 
bureaucracy, and the favoured position given to 
the Church of England, especially in the matter 
of the Clergy Reserves. Colborne was a man of 
kindly sympathies and no narrow views. He was 
keenly interested in education, and was the founder 
of the Upper Canada College. But he was sur- 
rounded by the men who formed the so-called 
' Family Compact ', and whose influence, used 
against the more democratic section of the com- 
munity, was strong because it was largely the 
outcome of real ability and high character. Shortly 
before his arrival a general election had taken place, 
and the newly-elected Assembly contained a pro- 
gressive majority. Marshall Bidwell was the 
Speaker, William Lyon Mackenzie was one of the 
members, and in the course of the year 1829 Robert 
Baldwin was elected to fill a seat which had been 
vacated by the appointment of the Attorney- 
General, Beverley Robinson, to be Chief Justice of 
Upper Canada, Robinson's successor, as Attorney- 
General, Boulton by name, was a man of far 
inferior type ; domineering and aggressive, he 


provoked, instead of conciliating, opposition to the 
Government. The death of King George IV, in 
June 1830, necessitated a new election, and this 
time the partisans of the Government secured 
a substantial majority in the Assembly. The 
Imperial Act of 1831, which handed over to the 
Legislature the proceeds of the taxes levied under 
the Quebec Revenue Act of 1774, was met by the 
grant of a Civil List to the amount of 6,500 per 
annum, and thus one great element of friction with 
the Imperial Government was eliminated. But 
the Government party in the Assembly had a most 
unwise leader in Boulton, and on the other side 
Mackenzie made himself impossible. The violence 
with which the latter in speech and writing 
attacked his political opponents was met by pro- 
ceedings which were equally indefensible. He was 
repeatedly expelled from the Assembly, and re- 
peatedly re-elected. He carried his grievances to 
England and found a champion in Joseph Hume, 
while the obvious unfairness and unwisdom of the 
treatment to which he had been subjected led 
to his chief opponent, Boulton, being dismissed 
from the appointment of Attorney-General by the 
Secretary of State. 

In 1834 the town of York was incorporated as 
the city of Toronto, and Mackenzie became the 
first mayor. Towards the end of the year there 
was a general election for the provincial Parlia- 
ment, and the Reform party once more gained 
the upper hand in the Assembly. Mackenzie had 
somewhat lost in popular estimation by publishing 
a letter from Joseph Hume, in which the latter had 


expressed himself to the effect that a crisis was 
coming in Canada ' which will terminate in inde- 
pendence and freedom from the baneful domination 
of the mother country ', and he gravitated away 
from the more moderate reformers and towards 
making common cause with Papineau in the Lower 
Province. Still he was the mouthpiece of the 
Reform party in the new Parliament of Upper 
Canada, and it was upon his motion that a select 
committee on grievances was appointed, of which 
he was chairman, and ' by which ', to quote Lord 
Glenelg's words, ' a report was made impugning 
the administration of affairs in every department 
of the public service, and calling for remedial 
measures of such magnitude and variety as appa- 
rently to embrace every conceivable topic of com- 
plaint.' x This Report, made in April 1835, and 
widely distributed in England, specified the almost 
unlimited patronage of the Crown and the abuse 
of that patronage as the chief sources of colonial 
discontent, and it demanded responsible govern- 
ment and an elected Legislative- Council. Lord 
Glenelg dealt with it at length in December 1835 
in his instructions to Colborne's successor, Sir 
Francis Bond Head ; and in the dispatch which 
embodied these instructions, he enclosed extracts 
from his previous instructions to Lord Gosford and 
his colleagues, the publication of which by Sir 
Francis Head caused, as already told, a ferment 
in the Quebec Assembly. 

When the grievances report was made public, 

1 See Lord Glenelg's Instructions to Sir F. Bond Head, December 5, 
1835, House of Commons Paper, No. 113, March 1836, p. 55. 


Colborne had been for more than six years Lieu- 
tenant-Governor of Upper Canada. To the Whig 
Government in England, anxious to conciliate 
public feeling in the Canadas, it seemed advisable 
to make a change, and Colborne himself realized 
that he was out of harmony with his employers. 
While Lord Glenelg wrote to recall him, he in turn 
wrote resigning his appointment, and in the middle 
of winter, on the 23rd of January 1836, a week after 
the Parliamentary Session in Upper Canada had 
been opened, his successor, Sir Francis Bond Head, 
arrived at Toronto, no intimation of his coming 
having been received in Upper Canada until he had 
already reached New York. Head was sworn in 
on the 25th of January, and on the following day 
Colborne left for Montreal on his way to England. 
He stayed at Montreal till the middle of May, then 
went to New York to embark for home, and while at 
New York was offered by Lord Glenelg the appoint- 
ment of Commander-in-Chief of the Forces in both 
Canadas. He accepted it and went back to Montreal. 
One of Colborne's last acts, as Lieutenant- 
Governor of Upper Canada, was to call into opera- 
tion the sections of the Constitutional Act of 1791, 
which authorized the Governor or Lieutenant- 
Governor in either of the Canadas, with the advice 
of the Executive Council, to constitute and endow 
Church of England rectories. He signed docu- 
ments which endowed with lands forty-four rec- 
tories, and in doing so he stirred up the dangerous 
Clergy Reserves question, aroused the wrath of the 
Scotch Church, the Wesleyans, and others, and 
was accused of hurriedly perpetrating a job for 


the Church of England before he was superseded, 
though, as a matter of fact, he was only taking the 
last step in carrying out views which had been 
expressed by Lord Goderich when Secretary of 
State in 1832. He gave offence, too, in Lower 
Canada by a reference to the dissensions in that 
province which he made when opening the Parlia- 
mentary Session at Toronto on the 14th of January 
1836, just before Head's arrival. It seemed, there- 
fore, as though an estimable but somewhat re- 
actionary Governor was being replaced by a man of 
broader outlook and more enlightened views. The 
sequel was to prove that the new-comer was 
dangerous and flighty in the extreme, and that 
when a crisis came Colborne was the man to meet it. 
Sir Francis Bond Head had been a soldier, a 
traveller, a writer, and a Poor Law Commissioner, 
before he was appointed Lieutenant-Governor of 
Upper Canada, but he had had no previous ex- 
perience of colonial administration. His two years' 
career as Lieutenant-Governor was that of a self- 
willed though well-meaning eccentric, not amenable 
either to an Assembly or to a Secretary of State. 
He began by publishing his instructions in extenso, 
instead of communicating their substance to the 
House of Assembly. In order to bring new blood 
into the Executive Council, he induced Robert 
Baldwin and Rolph, leaders of Reform, to take 
seats upon it, together with the Receiver-General 
of the province ; but Baldwin's views of what an 
Executive Councillor should be did not square 
with those of the Lieutenant-Governor, who had no 
intention of giving to the Council any real power 


or responsibility, and the result was that in three 
weeks' time the whole Council resigned. Head 
then procured a new Council, came into collision 
with the Assembly, dissolved the Legislature, and, 
managing to present the issue to the people as 
being in effect whether or not Upper Canada should 
remain a loyal province of the British Crown, he 
secured at the general election of June 1836 an 
overwhelming majority of supporters in the New 
Assembly. Bidwell, Mackenzie, Lount, among 
others, lost their seats, and, resenting the Govern- 
ment influence which had been used against them, 
the more violent members of the Reform party 
turned their minds towards revolution. The new 
Parliament met in November 1836, and sat till 
the following March, passing among many other 
measures a much criticized law that the Legislature 
should not be dissolved upon the sovereign's death, 
which was, in other words, an Act for prolonging 
its own existence. It met again in June 1837 for 
a short and special session, to deal with a financial 
crisis caused by commercial depression in the 
United States ; and the next session, the last which 
Sir Francis Head opened, began at the end of 
December 1837, after the close of the abortive 
rising in Upper Canada, and lasted till the 6th of 
March 1838. In 1836 Head had dismissed from 
office a district judge of the name of Ridout, on 
the alleged ground that he had been an opponent 
and critic of the Government. In the following 
year he passed over Bidwell for a judgeship in the 
Court of Queen's Bench. Lord Glenelg, on learning 
Ridout's side of the case, directed that he should 


be reinstated ; and he also gave instructions that 
Bid well should be offered the next vacant judge- 
ship. Head point blank refused either to reinstate 
Ridout or to offer a judgeship to Bidwell, and 
in September 1837 tendered his own resignation. 
Lord Glenelg accepted the resignation in a dispatch 
written towards the end of November and received 
in January 1838, Mackenzie's rising having taken 
place in the meantime ; on the 23rd of March the 
new Lieutenant-Governor, Sir George Arthur, 
arrived at Toronto ; and Head returned to England 
to continue unavailing protests against men and 
events, obstinate and wrongheaded, but none the 
less the spokesman in exaggerated fashion of the 
sentiments held by the Conservative section of 
the community of Upper Canada. 

The causes which produced friction and led to 
constitutional changes in Lower and Upper Canada, 
were at work also in the Maritime Provinces. Nova 
Scotia was the first of the present Canadian pro- 
vinces to be given representative institutions, for its 
House of Assembly dates from 1758, and in later 
days perhaps the most cogent of all the Canadian 
advocates of responsible government was the Nova 
Scotian, Joseph Howe, who first entered the House 
of Assembly in that Province in 1836. Both in 
Nova Scotia and in New Brunswick, which, as the 
result of Loyalist immigration from the United 
States, had been created a separate province in 1784, 
the same persons constituted both the Executive 
Council and the Upper House of the Legislature, 
viz. the Legislative Council. At the end of 1830, 
Lord Goderich, then Secretary of State for the 

1352-1 O 


Colonies, who was dealing with the Report on the 
Government of Canada made by the House of 
Commons Committee of 1828, wrote to the Lieu- 
tenant-Governors of Nova Scotia and New Bruns- 
wick, suggesting the desirability of giving a more 
independent character to the Councils by intro- 
ducing a larger number of unofficial members and 
excluding the puisne judges ; and in May 1832 he 
wrote to Sir Archibald Campbell, Lieutenant- 
Governor of New Brunswick, proposing that the 
Executive and Legislative Councils should no 
longer consist of the same members ; that the 
Executive Council should be small in number, 
* including one or two influential members of each 
branch of the Legislature ; ' * that the number of 
the Legislative Council should be increased, and 
that its members should cease to be necessarily 
members of the Executive or Privy Council. 

Sir Archibald Campbell agreed that ' the incon- 
sistency of the same members forming the Privy 
and Legislative Councils as a body, is an anomaly 
that never ought to have existed, and the sooner 
that it is abolished the better '. Accordingly, by 
Royal Commission to the Governor-General dated 
the 20th of November 1832, New Brunswick was 
endowed with two distinct and separate Councils, 
one Executive and one Legislative. Between three 
and four years later, in 1836, two delegates from 
the New Brunswick House of Assembly came to 
London to support an Address to the King from 
that body, one of them being the reform leader, 

1 See the House of Commons Paper, Nova Scotia, &c., No. 579, 
August, 1839, pp. 49-50. 


Lemuel Wilmot. New Brunswick asked for no 
more than Lord Glenelg had already embodied in 
his instructions to Lord Gosford and Sir Francis 
Head ; there was no demand for an Executive 
Council responsible to the people, nor for an elected 
Legislative Council, though improvements were 
suggested in the composition of either Council. 
The control of all the Crown revenues in return 
for a Civil List, and different management of the 
Crown lands, were asked for and readily conceded ; 
the terms of a Civil List Bill to be passed by the 
provincial Legislature were amicably settled ; and 
the delegates went back, gratefully acknowledging 
the liberal and enlightened policy of the Imperial 
Government and the personal attention which Lord 
Glenelg had given to their representations. There 
was a slight hitch later on, because the new policy 
was distasteful to Sir Archibald Campbell, and 
either on principle or through misunderstanding 
he resigned in 1837, instead of passing the Civil 
List Bill ; but his successor, Sir John Harvey, as 
tactful a Governor as he had shown himself to be 
a good fighter in the war of 1812, speedily carried 
into effect the reforms which had been contem- 
plated, and paved the way for responsible govern- 
ment, which came into being about ten years later. 
Nova Scotia was more conservative than New 
Brunswick. It was closely in touch with England, 
the port of Halifax being open all the year round ; 
and soldiers and sailors, active or retired, formed 
a strong element in the community. Accordingly, 
while in New Brunswick the Executive was, in 1832, 
separated from the Legislative Council, the two 

G 2 


continued in Nova Scotia to be identical down to 
the year 1837. In that year the Assembly for- 
warded an Address to the King, claiming control 
of the casual and territorial revenues, and asking 
His Majesty 'to grant us an elective Legislative 
Council ; or to separate the Executive from the 
Legislative Council, providing for a just repre- 
sentation of all the great interests of the province 
in both ; and by the introduction into the former 
of some members of the popular branch, and 
otherwise securing responsibility to the Commons, 
confer upon the people of this province what they 
value above all other possessions, the blessings of the 
British Constitution \ l Lord Glenelg made similar 
concessions in the case of the constitution of Nova 
Scotia, as had been made in regard to the other 
North American provinces, but it is noteworthy 
that he expressed great doubt as to the advisability 
of separating the Executive from the Legislative 
Council. ' The separation of this body into two 
distinct chambers,' he wrote in April 1837, * the one 
Legislative and the other Executive, is an experi- 
ment which was first tried in the Canadas by the 
Act of 1791, and repeated in New Brunswick in the 
year 1832. So far as I have been able to judge, the 
result of this innovation has not been such as to 
exclude very serious doubts respecting its real 
usefulness.' 2 In reference to the suggestion that 
the Executive officers should be under popular 
control, he wrote that ' Her Majesty's Govern- 

1 House of Commons Paper, as above, p. 17. 

8 Ibid., pp. 11, 12. The third quotation, from a dispatch of July G> 
1837, is not included in the extracts given in this Blue Book. 


ment must oppose a respectful but, at the same 
time, a firm declaration that it is inconsistent with 
a due advertence to the essential distinctions 
between a metropolitan and a colonial Government, 
and is therefore inadmissible.' 

The separation of the Executive from the Legis- 
lative Council was formally completed by means of 
the Commission which appointed Lord Durham to 
be Governor of Nova Scotia, and which was dated 
the 6th of February 1838 ; and in his Report Lord 
Durham described the political condition of Nova 
Scotia as one in which, though there were various 
questions at issue, there was no strong antagonism 
between the Government and the people. Nova 
Scotia had, as a rule, been fortunate in her Lieu- 
tenant-Governors. More than one had, like Lord 
Dalhousie, gone on to be Governor-General of 
Canada. Sir Peregrine Maitland, who had been 
transferred from Upper Canada to Nova Scotia in 
1828, had been mainly an absentee; but his suc- 
cessor in 1834, Sir Colin Campbell, a soldier of high 
repute, at the time when Lord Durham wrote, com- 
manded public confidence and esteem, though a little 
later he was found too conservative for Joseph 
Howe and the partisans of responsible government. 

In March 1834 the House of Assembly of Prince 
Edward Island asked that that colony might be 
placed upon an equal footing with the sister 
province of New Brunswick, by being given a Legis- 
lative Council distinct from the Executive Council, 
but the request was refused by the Secretary of 
State, Spring Rice. In May 1837 Lord Glenelg 
invited Sir Charles Fitzroy, who was then going 


out to Prince Edward Island as Lieutenant- 
Governor, to look into the composition of the 
Legislative Council ; and in March 1838 Fitzroy 
enclosed an Address from the House of Assembly, 
again asking that the Executive and Legislative 
Councils might be separated from each other, in 
accordance with the change which had taken place 
in Nova Scotia. Fitzroy supported the proposal 
and suggested an Executive Council of nine mem- 
bers, three of whom should be selected from the 
House of Assembly. Lord Glenelg then sanctioned 
the separation of the Councils. In Prince Edward 
Island, however, as will be gathered from Lord 
Durham's Report, the chief causes of complaint 
were connected more with the land than with the 
constitution, for in this island the evils arising 

!ut of absentee ownership were most acutely felt. 
The conditions of Newfoundland had always 
been wholly dissimilar to those of the mainland 
provinces of British North America, and its story 
had run in a different channel, but in Newfound- 
land, too, constitutional difficulties had arisen, and 
accordingly it was included within the scope of 
Lord Durham's Commission. By the year 1832 
the system had broken down, ' the fundamental 
principle of which was to prevent the Colonization 
of the island, and to render this kingdom the 
domicile of all persons engaged in the Newfound- 
land fisheries V and in that year the island was 
given a representative Assembly, created not by 
Act of Parliament but by the King's Commission 

1 Lord Goderich to Governor Sir T. Cochrane, July 27, 1832 (House 
of Commons Paper, as above, p. 82). 


to the Governor and by the Royal Instructions. 
There was also a Council which was in effect, though 
not in name, at once a Legislative Council and an 
Executive Council. Foreseeing the likelihood of 
friction between the Council and the Assembly, 
Lord Goderich, the Secretary of State who called 
the constitution into existence, suggested that an 
arrangement might be made and embodied in 
a local Act, ' which should consolidate the Council 
and the Assembly into a single House, in which the 
representatives of the people would be met by the 
official servants of the Crown.' * The proposal met 
with general disapprobation in the colony, and was 
not carried into effect ; and almost immediately 
the two houses came to loggerheads, the Council 
being the aggressor by throwing out a revenue Bill. 
This was in the first session of the new Legislature in 
the spring of 1833, and matters were not improved 
when later in the same year Boulton, who had 
proved so cantankerous as Attorney-General of 
Upper Canada, was consoled for losing that 
appointment by being made Chief Justice of New- 
foundland. In that capacity he presided over the 
Council and arrogated to himself the title of 
Speaker, until his pretensions and those which he 
made on behalf of the Council were, in October 
1834, somewhat summarily disallowed by Spring 
Rice, then Secretary of State. The disputes 
between the two Houses went on. In 1837 an 
Appropriation Bill was thrown out by the Council, 
whose action was in February 1838 disapproved 
by Lord Glenelg. Religious animosity had been 

1 House of Commons Paper, as above, p. 85. 


added to the political squabble, the Irish Roman 
Catholics being specially bitter against Boulton, 
who was relieved of his office in 1838. Matters 
came to such a pass that, under an Imperial act 
of 1842, the existing Legislature was ended, and 
replaced by a single chamber, as had been suggested 
by Lord Goderich. Another Imperial act of 1847 
restored the old constitution ; and, finally, in 1855 
responsible government came into being. 

It has been seen that the Quebec Legislature 
was prorogued by Lord Gosford on the 26th of 
August 1837. The news of the death of King 
William IV and of the accession of Queen Victoria 
had reached Canada at the end of July, but had 
not affected the political situation or softened 
party feeling. Montreal was Papineau's birthplace 
and home, and he was one of the parliamentary 
representatives of the city. Accordingly, both in 
1837 and later, in 1838, disloyalty was more 
aggressive and more pronounced in the district of 
Montreal than lower down the river. In the town 
itself there was a strong element of loyal citizens, 
but on the other side of the St. Lawrence, in the 
counties along the line of the Richelieu river, the 
proximity of the American frontier gave encourage- 
ment to disaffection ; and behind the island of 
Montreal, in the county of the Two Mountains on 
the north bank of the Ottawa river, sedition and 
lawlessness were rife. 

The rising, such as it was, was mainly a French 
Canadian movement, though it was a nondescript 
kind of disturbance. The Roman Catholic Church, 
with rare exceptions, exercised its authority on 


the side of law and order, and there were many 
French Canadian loyalists, magistrates, and others; 
while on the other hand, among the leaders of the 
so-called 'Patriots', British names were as promi- 
nent as French. There were the brothers Nelson, 
for instance, and Thomas Storrow Brown, and no 
paper attacked the Government with greater 
violence than the English Vindicator, edited at 
Montreal by Dr. O'Callaghan. But, naturally, the 
followers of Papineau were in the main French 
Canadians, whereas the overwhelming majority of 
the British, including the Irish, population were 
staunch and determined for the Government. 
The would-be rebellion had no chance. The towns 
were on the whole not revolutionary, and the 
seditious districts had neighbours to hold them in 
check. The Glengarry Highlanders, in Upper 
Canada, but on the border line of the two provinces, 
Roman Catholics of traditional and long-tried 
loyalty, publicly announced their intention to 
uphold the Government, and the English-speaking 
Eastern Townships were strongly opposed to 
Papineau and his friends. Most of all, though the 
Governor-in-Chief Lord Gosf ord was, it would seem, 
reputed to be somewhat weak and temporizing, the 
man in whose hands was the ultimate issue, the com- 
mander of the troops, was pre-eminently cool and 
strong. Sir John Colborne left nothing to chance, 
he prepared for the crisis and practically forestalled 
it. In the latter part of July he went up from 
Quebec to Sorel at the mouth of the Richelieu 
river, to be near the probable scene of disturbance ; 
and on the 9th of November, after a riot had taken 


place in Montreal, he moved into that city. Tn 
July, at Lord Gosford's instance, a regiment was 
brought up from Halifax to Quebec ; and at the 
end of October, with the cordial consent of Sir 
Francis Bond Head, the 24th regiment was brought 
down from Toronto to Montreal, where it arrived 
on the 13th of November. When the trouble 
came, the military forces, regulars supplemented 
by volunteers, were mainly concentrated at 
Montreal ; but preparations had also been made 
at Quebec, and towards the end of the year more 
regiments came in overland from Nova Scotia 
and New Brunswick, recalling the winter marches 
of the war of 1812. 

For the winter, when the navigation of the 
St. Lawrence was closed, was the dangerous time, 
and as the winter drew on, matters came to some- 
thing like a climax. Dr. Wolfred Nelson was, as 
not a few men have been, in public a violent 
politician, in private a kindly humane man. Ten 
years previously, at a general election, he had 
opposed and defeated James Stuart, then Attorney- 
General, for the borough of Sorel or William 
Henry, his brother Robert Nelson being at the 
same election returned as Papineau's colleague for 
one of the wards of Montreal. He lived and prac- 
tised his profession at St. Denis on the Richelieu 
river, and on the 23rd of October 1837 he presided 
at a public meeting at St. Charles near to his 
home, on which occasion Papineau was present, 
a cap of liberty was hoisted, and the representatives 
of the six confederated counties, as they styled 
themselves, being the counties bordering on the 


Richelieu, passed a series of lengthy resolutions, 
the most practical of which was an invitation to 
the soldiers to desert their colours and emigrate 
to the United States. One of the resolutions 
expressed approval of the political organization in 
Montreal entitled the ' Fils de Liberte ', of whom 
Christie contemptuously remarks that they were 
'chiefly idle boys, stripling Attornies, and mer- 
chants' clerks V On the 6th of November the Sons 
of Liberty, led by Storrow Brown, who was reputed 
to have been of American birth and who was at 
the time a dealer in hardware at Montreal, came 
into collision with the members of a loyalist 
association, known as the Doric club. In the end 
the Sons of Liberty fared badly, the office of the 
Vindicator was gutted and sacked, the Riot Act 
was read, and troops patrolled the streets. After 
this outbreak Colborne took up his quarters at 
Montreal. By this time a kind of reign of terror 
had come into being in the district of Montreal 
outside the city itself, and especially in the counties 
on the southern side of the St. Lawrence. Magis- 
trates were intimidated and called upon to 
resign, and the lives and property of the loyalists 
were no longer safe. In consequence, on the 16th 
of November, warrants were issued for the arrest 
of the leaders of sedition, including Papineau him- 
self, who, however, fled fom Montreal and joined 
Dr. Wolfred Nelson at St. Denis. A small party 
of soldiers was, on the evening of the 16th, sent to 
St. John's on the Richelieu, to arrest two French 
Canadians named Demaray and Davignon. The 

1 Christie, vol. iv, p. 395. 


arrest was effected, but as the prisoners were being 
taken to Montreal, their guard was fired upon, 
and they were rescued. Colborne immediately 
sent more troops into the district. One body, 
under Colonel Wetherall, went straight across the 
river to the fort at Chambly ; a second body, under 
Colonel Gore, was taken down the St. Lawrence, 
and landed at Sorel at the mouth of the Richelieu. 
Gore was to march up the Richelieu, and Wetherall 
down it, so as to disperse armed insurgents who 
were understood to have gathered at St. Denis 
under Dr. Wolfred Nelson and at St. Charles under 
Storrow Brown, St. Denis being about eighteen 
miles up the Richelieu from Sorel, and St. Charles 
six or seven miles further up the river. Gore started 
from Sorel with some 250 men on the night of 
the 22nd of November, and marching all night 
through sleet and rain did not reach St. Denis till 
nearly 10 o'clock on the following morning. Here 
he found Dr. Nelson and his followers prepared 
for defence, having converted a large stone house 
into a fort. He attacked with his tired troops, but 
was not strong enough to carry the position ; and 
after some hours' fighting he was obliged to retreat, 
with the loss of six men killed and ten wounded 
and of the one field piece which he had taken 
with him. He did not reach Sorel again till the 
afternoon of the 24th. Wetherall, with a rather 
larger force than Gore's, left Chambly at precisely 
the same time to march on St. Charles and eventu- 
ally join Gore. In the same bad weather he 
marched through the night of the 22nd and the 
forenoon of the 23rd, and eventually, being brought 


to a stand by a broken bridge some few miles 
short of St. Charles, he encamped for the night, 
rested his troops, received reinforcements on the 
following day, the 24th, and did not move until 
the 25th. Some entrenchments had been thrown 
up at St. Charles, and they were defended by 
a considerable number of insurgents, of whom 
Storrow Brown had taken command. Wetherall 
summoned the people to disperse, and when they 
resisted he carried the position, after about an 
hour's fighting, not without loss, and effectually 
broke up all resistance, returning to Montreal 
on the 29th of November. This was practically 
the end of the rising in the Richelieu counties, 
although towards the end of the first week of 
December there was a brush near the American 
frontier, in which loyalist volunteers intercepted 
and dispersed a band of rebels who had taken 
refuge in and crossed over from Vermont. At the 
beginning of December Gore was sent again to 
Sorel and up the river to St. Denis and St. Charles. 
He met with no resistance, he recovered his 
wounded and his gun, and his troops burnt some 
houses at St. Denis. Dr. Wolfred Nelson had at once 
shown more courage and been more unfortunate 
than his fellows. When he heard of Wetherall's 
success at St. Charles, he attempted to escape across 
the frontier into the United States; but after 
much suffering from cold and privation in the 
woodlands of the loyalist Eastern Townships, he 
was taken prisoner on the 12th of December and 
sent in to Montreal, his kindly care of the wounded 
being remembered in his own misfortunes. A 


reward had been offered for his capture, and a still 
larger reward was offered for the capture of 
Papineau, but the latter made good his escape. 
He left Dr. Nelson's house at St. Denis on the 
morning of the day when Gore attacked it, and 
with O'Callaghan found his way to the United 
States, leaving to after years a controversy as to 
the motives for his flight at the moment of danger. 
Storrow Brown also reached American soil, and 
he, too, was criticized, though apparently without 
good reason, for not having been on the spot at 
St. Charles when the actual fighting took place. 

After an interval of years insurgents became 
good citizens again, and memories were softened, 
but there were two bad murders in this rising in 
the Richelieu district which could not be smoothed 
over or forgotten. A young officer, Lieutenant 
Weir, trying to catch up Gore's column between 
Sorel and St. Denis on the night of the 22nd of 
November, took a wrong road, reached St. Denis 
in advance of Gore's troops, and fell into the insur- 
gents' hands. When Gore attacked, Weir was placed 
bound in a wagon to be taken to St. Charles : 
he jumped out of the wagon, and was there 
and then shot and stabbed to death by those 
who were in charge. His body, badly mangled, 
was subsequently found in the Richelieu river, 
and was buried at Montreal on the 8th of December. 
In 1839, a man of the name of Jalbert, who had 
been in principal charge of the wagon, was tried 
for the murder, but the jury disagreed and he 
went unpunished. Even more cold-blooded was 
the murder of a stone-mason Chartrand, a French 


Canadian of St. John's, who had enrolled himself 
as a loyalist volunteer. Coming home from a 
place five or six miles off on the afternoon of the 
28th of November, he was intercepted by a party 
of ruffians, some of them with loaded guns. He 
was subjected to a mock trial, condemned as a spy, 
tied to a tree, and shot. Four men were tried for 
his murder in 1838, but were acquitted by a jury of 
their countrymen in face of the strongest evidence 
of their guilt. Two of them, however, one a ring- 
leader, were inculpated in the second rising in the 
autumn of 1838, were tried by court martial and 
hung early in 1839. 

Gore's repulse at St. Denis acted as a stimulus 
to armed disloyalty, and the disloyal county of 
the Two Mountains, to the north-west of Montreal, 
gave some trouble. The centre of the disturbance 
was the village of St. Eustache, and the leaders 
were a Swiss adventurer of the name of Girod, and 
a French Canadian, like Wolfred Nelson, a brave 
but headstrong doctor, of the name of Chenier. 
Like Nelson at St. Denis, Chenier at St. Eustache 
turned a building into a fort. This was a 
convent, of which he took forcible possession 
on the 1st of December. Sir John Colborne 
waited for nearly a fortnight until he was fully 
prepared to settle the matter, and then marched 
out of Montreal on the 13th of December with 
2,000 men. On the 14th the troops took possession 
of St. Eustache, where Chenier and it is said 
about 250 others held church, convent, and other 
buildings, and fought with spirit. Chenier was 
killed, much of the village was burnt, and a con- 


siderable number of French Canadians were killed 
or taken prisoners. Girod had taken flight early 
in the proceedings, but a few days later, being 
hard pressed, shot himself. The troops went on 
to St. Benoit, another little centre of disaffection, 
fomented by one of the very few French Canadian 
priests who actively opposed the government. 
Here there was no resistance, but notwithstanding 
there was burning of houses ; a third village was 
also visited, and on the 16th the troops returned 
to Montreal. 

This was the end of the rising in Lower Canada. 
The contemporary insurrection in Upper Canada 
was even more fatuous and abortive. The danger 
in this province arose from two causes. One was 
purely temporary, and has already been mentioned, 
the fact that, when Sir John Colborne asked if 
any troops could be spared, Sir Francis Bond 
Head somewhat theatrically denuded Toronto of 
all the regulars, being well inclined, it would seem, 
to show to the world the loyalty of the citizens 
of Upper Canada, his own confidence in them and 
their confidence in him. The second source of 
danger was the ease with which raids could be 
organized from the American shores of the Niagara 
and Detroit rivers. For the rest, the community 
of Upper Canada was in the main thoroughly 
loyal, and race feeling did not complicate the 
situation. What Papineau was to Lower Canada 
Mackenzie was to the Upper Province, but with far 
more courage, even less discretion, and certainly 
less widespread influence. In both provinces 
the medical profession seems to have produced 


leaders among the Patriots or Rebels, which- 
ever name may be thought more appropriate. As 
against Wolfred Nelson and Chenier in Lower 
Canada, Drs. Rolph, Buncombe, and Morrison 
were prominent in Upper Canada. Among the 
reformers, Baldwin had no part or lot in the 
rising, nor had Bidwell, though the latter did 
not escape suspicion, which induced him, wrought 
upon, it was said, unfairly by Sir Francis Head, 
to exile himself for the rest of his life in the United 

During the summer of 1838 Mackenzie had been 
agitating through the province. The extreme men 
showed a disposition to come into line with 
Papineau in Lower Canada, but there was little 
talk of resort to force, and only gradually, in the 
country districts, some kind of secret preparation 
was made for taking up arms. Eventually the 
plan was evolved of capturing Toronto and the 
Government, the night of the 7th of December 
being fixed for the attempt. It was long before 
Sir Francis Head would admit the possibility of 
any danger or take any steps towards meeting it, 
although a good soldier, Colonel Fitzgibbon, whose 
name had been a household word in the war of 
1812, was urgent ih his warnings. At length, at 
the beginning of December, it was determined to 
arrest Mackenzie and to call out some of the militia, 
with the result that the conspirators hastened 
their movements, and resolved to make their 
attempt on Toronto on the night of the 4th. But 
when plans are changed in conspiracies, differences 
of opinion arise, there is uncertainty and confusion, 

1352-1 H 


warning is given to the other side, and the scheme 
miscarries. The rebels picketed Toronto on the 
night of the 4th of December, but made no attack. 
A loyalist, Colonel Moodie, was intercepted and 
shot; an insurgent leader, Anderson, was shot; 
citizens were stopped and arrested by the rebels, 
but one or two broke through, and the alarm was 
most effectually given in the town. On the next 
morning, the 5th, after a reconnaissance, Fitzgibbon, 
with sound military instinct, wished at once to 
attack the insurgents in their position, but Head 
refused his consent and sent Baldwin and Rolph 
to parley with them, in happy ignorance that 
Rolph was in their inmost secrets. The conference 
came to nothing, and when night fell, Lount and 
Mackenzie led their misguided followers towards the 
city. They came across a small picket of twenty- 
seven men whom Fitzgibbon had sent out. The 
picket fired and then ran away, and so did the 700 
insurgents. Militia and volunteers were now fast 
coming into Toronto, and by the following night, 
the night of the 6th, the Government had some 
1,200 fighting men at its back. On the 7th, Fitz- 
gibbon and Colonel MacNab attacked, and within 
half an hour the rebels were dispersed and the rising 
was at an end. MacNab and a force of 500 men 
went on into the London district, where Dr. 
Duncombe, of American birth, had been organizing 
rebellion, but it had all melted away, and Duncombe 
had fled to the United States. Mackenzie, too, 
made his way across the frontier, and so did Rolph. 
Among other prominent rebels, one, Van Egmont 
by name, who was reputed to have served under 


Napoleon, died in prison ; two, Lount and 
Matthews, were hanged. 

In the United States Mackenzie tried to organize 
invasion of Canada, and frontier raids followed. 
Just above the Falls of Niagara, a small island 
in Canadian waters, Navy Island, was, at his 
instigation, occupied by a band of filibusters from 
Buffalo, who held it for a month from the middle 
of December 1837 to the middle of January 1838. 
A small Buffalo steamer, the Caroline, had been 
chartered to carry warlike stores and supplies to 
the island, and on the night of the 29th of December 
a party of Canadians rowed across the river to 
the American shore, cut out and burnt the vessel, 
and killed one man on the wharf. This incident 
caused strong resentment in the United States, 
although, from the Canadian point of view, it was 
no more than a justifiable reprisal, inasmuch as 
American soil had been openly made a basis for 
attack upon a friendly nation, and the raiders were 
almost entirely American citizens. Eventually, 
between three and four years later, Daniel Webster 
obtained from Sir Robert Peel a friendly explana- 
tion and what was held to be an adequate apology. 
The raid, or attempted raid, on the Niagara 
frontier was supplemented by similar attempts 
in the neighbourhood of Detroit in January and 
February 1838, in the course of which an Irish 
American adventurer of the name of Theller was 
taken prisoner. He was said to have been a doctor, 
like various other men who were prominent in 
these Canadian disturbances, and he obtained 
some notoriety by making a bold escape from 

H 2 


his prison in the citadel of Quebec in October 

Martial law was proclaimed in the district of 
Montreal on the 5th of December 1837, and the dis- 
trict remained under martial law until the following 
27th of April, when, just a month before Lord 
Durham's arrival, Colborne, as acting Governor- 
General, dispensed with it in accordance with 
wishes expressed from home. 

In September 1837 Lord Gosford had placed 
himself in the hands of the Home Government, 
intimating that personally he would be glad to 
resign, though he was ready to continue in office, 
if the ministers so desired. He had been pledged 
to a policy of conciliation, and it was rapidly 
becoming evident that other measures would be 
necessary, which might better be entrusted to 
other hands. On the 27th of November Lord 
Glenelg wrote to accept his resignation, and he 
wrote also to Sir John Colborne intimating that 
the administration of the government would 
devolve upon him. Lord Gosford's departure 
from Canada was delayed by an injury which he 
received from a fall, but he finally left Quebec on 
the 27th of February 1838, and on the same day 
Colborne assumed the government. In the latter 
part of March, as already told, Sir Francis Head 
was replaced in Upper Canada by Sir George 
Arthur, who had previously been Lieutenant- 
Go vernor of Van Diemen's Land, now Tasmania. 

The first Parliament of Queen Victoria met in 
November 1837. Just before the adjournment 
for the Christmas holidays news reached England of 


the outbreak in Canada. ' The adjournment before 
the Christmas recess,' says the Annual Register for 
1838, 1 ' took place almost contemporaneously with 
the arrival of the intelligence of the Canadian revolt, 
though not before some younger members of the 
Radical section had found an opportunity of ex- 
pressing their exuberant joy at the fact and their 
confident predictions of its inevitable consequences.' 
This statement may have been somewhat of an 
exaggeration, but some of the utterances were 
deplorable. One of the most violent speeches was 
made by Sir William Molesworth, who was not 
alone in hoping that Canada would pass from under 
the British dominion. That ' that dominion should 
now be brought to a conclusion I for one most 
sincerely desire '. This was on the 22nd of 
December 1837, but Molesworth's normal view 
was a saner one, for on the following 6th of March, 
in attacking Lord Glenelg's administration of the 
colonies, while he still expressed a hope that 
the people of Lower Canada would become inde- 
pendent, if their constitution was not restored to 
them, he stated that he yielded to no member in 
the House of Commons ' in a desire to preserve 
and extend the colonial empire of England'. 

The House met again on the 16th of January 
1838, and Lord John Russell immediately intro- 
duced into the House of Commons a Bill which, 
after being much amended and recast, became law 
on the 10th of February, entitled ' An Act to make 
temporary provision for the government of Lower 
Canada'. 2 It suspended the constitution of 1791 

1 p. 2. 2 1 Vic. c. ix. 


in Lower Canada from the date when the Act should 
be proclaimed in the province until the 1st of 
November 1840; and it empowered the Crown to 
constitute a special Council, by authorizing the 
Governor to appoint councillors in accordance 
with instructions. The operation of the laws to 
be passed by the Council was limited to the 1st of 
November 1842, ' unless continued by competent 
authority', and the Council was precluded from 
passing any legislation which should impose new 
taxes or involve constitutional changes. All laws 
were to be proposed to the Council by the Governor, 
and the presence of five councillors at least was 
required for the passing of a law. When explain- 
ing the proposals of the Government, Lord John 
Russell intimated that the extensive powers 
conferred by the Act would be entrusted to Lord 
Durham. Lord Durham himself in the House of 
Lords gave expression to the reluctance with which 
he undertook the charge. As a matter of fact he 
had been invited by Lord Melbourne in the previous 
July to take the governor-generalship of Canada, 
but had declined. He was again approached after 
the news of the rebellion had been received, and it 
was only on the day before Parliament met in 
January 1838 that he finally consented to go out. 

The new Act practically created a dictatorship, 
and was, therefore, strongly opposed by the 
Radicals in its passage through Parliament. It 
would have been even more hotly opposed but 
that Durham was conspicuous for his Radical 
sympathies. Roebuck, not then in Parliament, 
was heard against the Bill at the bar of either 


House. In the House of Lords Brougham was 
specially bitter against the Government and its 
policy. But the policy prevailed. The Act was 
sent out to Canada with instructions to Colborne 
to call together a special Council in order to deal 
with immediate requirements, but to make it 
clear that Lord Durham on arrival would con- 
stitute his own Council. Colborne acted accord- 
ingly and nominated a Council consisting of 21 
members, 11 of whom were French Canadians. 
The Council met on the 18th of April and was 
prorogued on the 5th of May. Lord Durham 
arrived at the end of May, and on the 28th of June 
nominated his own special Council consisting of 
five members only, unconnected with political life 
in Canada. 

Was there any real justification for the armed 
rising in the two Canadian provinces ? The answer 
must be that there was not. There was ground 
for discontent, the discontent of communities 
growing and conscious of growth, and desirous 
with reason of more extended control of their 
own destinies, the discontent in Lower Canada of 
a French race largely officered by Englishmen, the 
discontent in Upper Canada of a democratic party 
stonewalled by official Conservatism. But the 
popular demands were, for the time and place, 
excessive and unreasonable, the grievances were 
clothed in exaggerated language, and the weakness 
and speedy collapse of the outbreak in either 
province testified to the absence of deep-seated and 
widespread resentment against grinding tyranny. 
It may be said that the rebellion was the product 


of three causes, first the war of American Inde- 
pendence, secondly, unwise speeches in England, 
thirdly, real, though not overwhelming grievances. 
The war of American Independence and its out- 
come coloured the whole of the subsequent colonial 
history of England ; especially it affected the 
history of the British provinces which bordered 
on the United States. The popular view of the 
war, adopted and embellished by the Whigs, was 
that it was a signal and crowning illustration for 
all time of the triumph of liberty over oppression : 
and the terms used of it implied that the English 
had been guilty of the wildest excesses of tyranny. 
This led to similar exaggeration, whenever in after 
years there was friction between a colony and the 
motherland ; and in the case of Canada speeches 
made by men like Roebuck or Hume, who were 
either paid advocates of the colonies or so con- 
stituted as to be incapable of imagining that the 
Home Government for the time being could be 
right, or speeches again made from the Irish point 
of view by O'Connell, contributed to a distorted 
vision of the actual facts. Lower Canada had 
not even the cause of complaint which the thirteen 
colonies had been able to put forward, that new 
taxes were being imposed from without upon the 
provincials by the Government at home. As far 
as the finances were concerned, it was a question 
not of taxation but of appropriation. In the words 
of the Annual Register for 1838, 1 ' Throughout 
the unfortunate differences which we are about 
to notice, no question ever existed with respect to 

1 p. 4. 


the imposition of duties or the levying of money. 
The claims of either party were limited to the 
right of appropriating what must, at all events, 
be collected and what, if not disposed of j must 
accumulate from year to year in the public chest.' 
In refusing a Civil List, in return for the control 
of their finances, the democratic party in Canada 
were refusing what it would have been right and 
reasonable to grant, and the attacks made upon 
successive Governors-General were unworthy and 
contemptible. None the less, there were wrongs 
to be righted and causes of friction to be removed : 
the time had come in all the provinces of British 
North America to recognize that the peoples were 
now not children but adults, and the man had 
come, in Lord Durham, to show the better way. 



WHEN Lord Durham's Report was laid before 
Parliament in 1839, it was prefaced by the Commis- 
sion which is now reprinted, and which had already 
been given separately to Parliament on the 9th of 
July 1838. It was a Royal Commission under the 
Great Seal, appointing him to be ' High Commis- 
sioner and Governor-General of all Her Majesty's 
provinces on the continent of North America, and 
of the islands of Prince Edward and Newfound- 
land'. The Commission recites that he had 
already received five several Commissions appoint- 
ing him to be Governor-in-Chief of the four 
provinces of Lower Canada, Upper Canada, Nova 
Scotia, and New Brunswick, and of Prince Edward 
Island. Similar powers had been given to his 
predecessors ; but, as appears from Lord Glenelg's 
letter to Lord Durham of the 3rd of April 1838; 
only three Commissions had previously been issued 
for the five colonies, instead of one for each. The 
Commission then goes on to appoint him ' to be 
our High Commissioner for the adjustment of 
certain important questions depending in the said 
provinces of Lower and Upper Canada, respecting 
the form and future Government of the said 
provinces ', and to authorize him as High Com- 


missioner ' to enquire into and as far as may 
be possible to adjust all questions depending in 
the said provinces of Lower and Upper Canada, 
or either of them, respecting the form and ad- 
ministration of the Civil Government thereof 
respectively '. Then, ' with a view to the adjust- 
ment of such questions,' the Commission appoints 
him to be Governor-General of all the British 
North American provinces and islands, including 
Newfoundland, but the commission of the exist- 
ing Governor of Newfoundland is specially safe- 

Finally the Commission empowers him to hold 
the offices of ' High Commissioner and Governor- 
General of our said provinces on the continent of 
North America, and of the said islands of Prince 
Edward and Newfoundland'. 

This document gave Lord Durham a threefold 
authority. In the first place he was, like his 
predecessors, Governor-in-Chief of Lower Canada, 
Upper Canada, Nova Scotia, New Brunswick, 
and Prince Edward Island. His legal powers 
were those of Governor-in-Chief. He was not, 
nor had his predecessors been, Governor-in-Chief 
of Newfoundland, for in Newfoundland there was 
a Governor and not merely a Lieutenant-Governor. 
In the second place he was High Commissioner to 
do special work in two of the provinces. In the 
third place he was Governor-General of all the 
provinces and islands, including Newfoundland. 
The appointment of Governor-in-Chief applied to 
each province or island separately, excluding 
Newfoundland. The appointment of Governor- 


General applied to them all collectively, includ- 
ing Newfoundland ; but it is not quite easy to 
appreciate why the appointment of Governor- 
General of all the provinces and islands collectively 
was conferred upon him ' with a view to the 
adjustment' of the special questions in Lower and 
Upper Canada, in connexion with which he had 
been appointed High Commissioner ; nor is it 
clear why he is styled High Commissioner as well 
as Governor-General of all the provinces and 
islands. 1 The meaning of the document can be 
interpreted from the first two paragraphs of Lord 
Durham's Report. It was, that certain grave 
troubles had come into existence in two Cana- 
dian provinces which required a very special 
man, clothed with very special authority, to deal 
with them : that the conditions in other parts of 
British North America were not dissimilar: that 
the chosen man should, therefore, in addition to 
possessing the ordinary powers of government 
which previous Governors-in-Chief had enjoyed, 
be given a High Commissionership intended pri- 
marily to apply to Lower and Upper Canada and 
only to special purposes in those two provinces, 
but to apply also, if required, in combination with 
a general authority as Governor-General, to the 
whole of British North America, even including 
Newfoundland. In short, the difficulties which 
had arisen in Lower and Upper Canada differed 

1 In the Commission to Charles Buller empowering him to inquire 
into public lands (see voL iii, Appendix B), Lord Durham appears as 
Governor-General only, not as High Commissioner, and Newfoundland 
is wrongly given a Lieutenant-Governor instead of a Governor. 


rather in degree than in kind from those which 
had occurred or might occur elsewhere in British 
North America, and therefore all the provinces 
and islands were, so to speak, grouped under Lord 
Durham's authority as Governor-General, and to 
all he might, if necessary, appty whatever powers 
appertained to him as High Commissioner. Thus, 
in the first of the three letters or dispatches in 
which Lord Glenelg conveyed to him the instruc- 
tions of the Government, the letter of the 20th 
of January, it is stated : ' Neither ... is it the 
intention of Her Majesty's Government to exclude 
other subjects from your consideration, or to 
restrict you from entertaining other proposals, 
whether affecting the two Canadas only or all the 
British North American provinces, which you may 
be induced to think conducive to the permanent 
establishment of an improved system of Govern- 
ment in Her Majesty's North American possessions. 
Your Commission will be co-extensive with the 
whole of these possessions ' ; and in the letter of the 
21st of April reference is made to the powers which 
were vested in him ' for the purpose of a general 
superintendence over all British North America '. 

The formal Royal Instructions, which accom- 
panied Lord Durham's five Commissions as Gover- 
nor-in-chief, were much the same as had been 
given to his predecessors. In the case of Lower 
and Upper Canada, the old Instructions which 
had been handed on from Lord Dalhousie's time 
were continued, with the proviso that they should 
apply ' so far only as the same are not obsolete or 
have not been superseded by any such statute as 


aforesaid or as the same may not be found to bo 
inapplicable to the present state of affairs in our 
said province ' ; and in the case of Lower Canada, 
a separate Instruction was added as to constituting 
the special Council authorized by the newly passed 
Act ' to make temporary provision for the Govern- 
ment of Lower Canada '. Over and above these 
formal Instructions, Lord Glenelg conveyed to him 
the views of the Melbourne Ministry in the three 
letters of the 20th of January, 3rd of April, and 
21st of April 1838, which are reprinted in vol. in, 
and of which a few words must be said. 

It will be remembered that Parliament met 
on the 16th of January 1838. The Instructions 
contained in the letter of the 20th of January 
were therefore given almost immediately after 
Lord John Russell had introduced the Bill for sus- 
pending the constitution of Lower Canada, which 
eventually, on the 10th of February, became the Act 
' to make temporary provision for the Government 
of Lower Canada ', and they followed close upon 
Lord Durham's acceptance of the charge which 
had been offered to him. The Government were 
anxious to lose no time in embodying their policy 
in the form of Instructions, but the letter of the 
20th of January was absurdly premature, seeing 
that the law with which the Instructions were 
coupled had yet to be passed. It will be seen 
that in this letter Lord Glenelg authorized Lord 
Durham somewhat elaborately, though leaving 
him a discretion in the matter, to call together 
an advisory committee of the two Canadas with an 
elective element in it, for the purpose of consulting 


the members on some or all of the outstanding 
questions, especially those which were common 
to the two provinces. A reference to this proposed 
committee had been embodied in the preamble 
to the Bill which was then before the House of 
Commons. The first draft of the Bill recited that, 
whereas under existing circumstances the House 
of Assembly in Lower Canada could not be called 
together without detriment to the public interests, 

' and whereas it is nevertheless expedient that the 
said Province should be permanently governed on 
constitutional principles adapted to promote the 
interests of all classes of Her Majesty's subjects in 
the said Province : And whereas, in order to the 
preparation of such measures as it may be desir- 
able to propose to Parliament for improving the 
constitution of the provinces of Lower Canada 
and Upper Canada, or either of them, and for 
regulating divers questions in which the said pro- 
vinces are jointly interested, Her Majesty hath been 
pleased to authorize the Governor-General of Her 
Majesty's provinces in North America to summon 
a meeting, to be holden within the said provinces 
of Lower Canada and Upper Canada, consisting of 
the said Governor-General and of certain persons 
to be by Her Majesty or on Her Majesty's behalf 
for that purpose appointed, and also consisting of 
certain other persons representing the interests 
and opinions of Her Majesty's subjects inhabiting 
the said provinces, and whereas it is in the mean- 
time necessary that temporary provision should be 
made for the Government of the said province of 
Lower Canada, Be it therefore enacted . . . ' 

The fact was that the Whig Ministry, being 
driven to a measure of coercion, tried to sweeten 


it, and to conciliate their Radical following, by 
introducing into the preamble of the Bill and into 
the Instructions to their Commissioner evidence 
of the Liberal and Constitutional principles on 
which they prided themselves. But they had to 
reckon with Sir Robert Peel, who would have 
none of this preamble, and pointed out with 
irresistible force that it was an attempt, by a 
side wind in the form of a preamble to an Act, to 
make Parliament responsible for the acts and 
the policy of the Executive Government. On the 
same grounds he refused to give any Parliamentary 
recognition to Lord Glenelg's Instructions to Lord 
Durham, 1 and he pointed out the palpable absurdity 
of giving instructions in January to a man who 
would not arrive in Canada till the end of May. 
The end of it was that, being given a lead from his 
own side, by ' Bear ' Ellice and Charles Buller, Lord 
John Russell struck the preamble out of the Bill, 
and no more was heard of the elaborate instructions 
for calling together an advisory committee. 

Lord Glenelg's letter of the 20th of January 1838 
is a wordy document with high phrases and fine 
sentiments, evidently designed for the shop- window; 
but it will be noted that the letter refers specially 
to the complaint made against the Quebec Assem- 
bly that it was animated by an 'anti-commercial 
spirit of legislation ', and that prominence is given 
to the relations between the two Canadian pro- 

1 An extract from Lord Glenelg's letter of instructions to Lord 
Durham of January 20, 1838, was laid before Parliament on January 23, 
1838. The whole letter, together with the letters of April 3 and April 21 , 
was included in the Parliamentary Paper of February 11, 1839. 


vinces and the difficulties which had arisen in this 
connexion. Some kind of federal legislature is 
suggested which should supplement, but not take 
the place of, the separate legislatures of Lower 
and Upper Canada. The letter also adverts to the 
constitution of the Legislative Council hi Lower 
Canada, and to the resolution of the House of 
Commons that the Council should be given a more 
popular character without being made elective. 

The letter of the 3rd of April deals with Lord 
Durham's Commissions and with his relations, 
under their terms and under the Royal Instructions, 
to the Lieutenant-Governors. It may be inferred 
from it that Lord Durham was not expected to 
visit Newfoundland, as no reference is made to 
the possibility of his doing so. 

The letter of the 21st of April is by way of 
completing a series of Instructions. It is again a 
wordy document with a number of copybook plati- 
tudes. It refers more especially to relations with 
the United States, and to the desire of the Whig 
Government that gentle treatment should, in other 
than exceptional cases, be meted out to those in 
Canada who were inculpated in the late rising. 
With this end in view, Lord Durham is given an 
unrestricted power of pardon. The letter concludes 
with an assurance of the full confidence of Her 
Majesty's Government and ' of their utmost support 
and assistance '. 

On the whole, it would be somewhat difficult to 
find a more futile set of Instructions to a strong 
man setting out on a difficult mission, but they 
had the merit of leaving him a wide discretion. 





LORD DURHAM having been appointed Governor- 
General of all the British North American Colonies, 
including Newfoundland, the nominal scope of his 
Report was the whole of British North America ; 
and, in so far as the Report laid down general 
principles, or foreshadowed a union of all the 
provinces, it did to a greater or less extent include 
them all. But the primary object of his mission 
was to adjust outstanding and pressing questions 
in Lower and Upper Canada, ' respecting the form 
and future Government ' of those two provinces ; 
and it has been seen that, as a matter of fact, his 
stay in British North America hardly exceeded 
five months, all of which time he spent in Lower 
Canada with the exception of eleven days which he 
gave to the Upper Province. Nova Scotia, New 
Brunswick, Prince Edward Island, and Newfound- 
land, he never visited at all. He interviewed 
delegates from Nova Scotia, New Brunswick, and 
Prince Edward Island ; and the Crown Lands 
Inquiry, which was entrusted to Charles Buller, 
included these three colonies as well as the two 
Canadas ; but, except in connexion with Crown 


lands, only three pages of the Report in its original 
Blue Book form are devoted to ' the Eastern 
provinces and Newfoundland ' ; and, while the 
Commission which empowered Buller to inquire 
into Crown lands included Newfoundland, the 
actual inquiry and Buller's Report left out that 
island altogether. It was in fact a farce, as events 
turned out, to have brought Newfoundland at all 
into the Commission and into the Report, for Lord 
Durham says plainly (ii. 202): 'With respect to 
the colony of Newfoundland, I have been able 
to obtain no information whatever, except from 
sources open to the public at large '. The scope of 
the Report may then be fairly summed up by 
saying that it deals in detail with Lower and 
Upper Canada, and that it contains information, 
deductions and suggestions which were applicable 
in the first place to the Maritime Provinces of 
North America, and in the second place to other 
parts of the world, including Newfoundland, which 
had been colonized by British citizens more 
applicable indeed to some other provinces of the 
Empire than to Newfoundland, for the conditions 
of Newfoundland were sui generis and wholly 
different from those of an ordinary British colony. 
The Report is, in short, mainly a special report 
upon the two Canadas, but partly also a general 
essay upon the best method of adjusting the 
relations between Great Britain and British 
colonies which are not merely dependencies, 
including a model scheme of colonization by means 
of the proper application of the public lands of 
the colonies. 

i 2 



Turning to the character of the Report, critics 
wishing to find fault might lay stress upon one or 
two instances of direct misstatement, and more 
numerous instances of obvious exaggeration; but 
the Report must fairly be considered as a whole, 
and its two main features, apart from the substance 
of the recommendations which it contains, are in 
the first place its plain speaking, and in the 
second place its breadth of view. The first of 
these two characteristics may be illustrated by 
reference to the marginal notes, which form 
a running analysis, unusual in a Blue Book, and 
suitable rather to a history or a general essay than 
to the report of a special commission. Here are 
three notes which follow one another on ii. 59, 60 : 
4 The Canadians would revenge themselves on the 
English by any aid ' ; ' The English population 
will never tolerate the French pretensions to 
nationality ' ; ' They complain of being the sport 
of parties at home.' And here are three more on 
ii. 292-4 : ' Hopeless inferiority of the French- 
Canadian race ; ' ' Economical obstacle to perpetua- 
tion of their nationality ; ' * The French nation- 
ality is destitute of invigorating qualities.' Notes 
of this kind, and such strong language as will be 
found in the body of the Report, would never see 
the light in the report of a Royal Commission at 
the present day, though possibly some approach 
to it might now and again be found in separate 
dispatches. It is interesting to speculate how far 
this plain speaking was the outcome of the man, 


and how far of the time a time before summaries 
of speeches and reports were telegraphed to the 
ends of the earth. Lord Durham was not accus- 
tomed to mince his words, nor did he greatly 
regard the feelings of others. His right-hand man, 
Charles Buller, had a trenchant pen, and both men 
were at once indifferent to political niceties, and 
minded to read their countrymen at home a lesson 
for all time on the subject of colonial administration. 
Hence the Report is full blooded, and, while nothing 
is set down in malice, nothing is extenuated. The 
writer is determined to paint a graphic picture of 
the truth, as it appeared to his eyes, and he has 
beyond question succeeded in his effort. But if 
Lord Durham and Buller had lived in our own day, 
it cannot be doubted that the Report would not 
have been so outspoken. Violent party speeches 
are as common as ever, but in the matter of reports, 
especially with regard to the dominions beyond the 
seas, the men of the present time weigh their words 
more carefully than was the case seventy years 
ago. It is well that it should be so. We could 
wish that our Parliamentary Papers were marked 
by the vigour, the clearness, the eloquence, the 
honesty which, over and above its supreme ability, 
are conspicuous in Lord Durham's Report, but 
we could and would dispense with criticisms and 
terms of expression which may be valuable for 
confidential purposes, but in public documents are 
calculated to give abiding offence to classes or to 

And Lord Durham's Report, great and remedial 
as it was, by form as well as by substance gave 


grave offence in both Canadas. As late as the 
3rd of February, 1910, Sir Wilfrid Laurier referred 
to it in the Canadian House of Commons in the 
following terms. 

' It is a singular fact that the report of Lord 
Durham was received by the French Canadians 
of that day with pained surprise. The reason is 
known to those who have studied the history of 
that period. Friend of liberty as he was, broad 
as he was in his conceptions, f ar-visioned as events 
show him to have been, Lord Durham himself 
did not appreciate the effect of liberal institutions. 
Coming to Canada at a time when the very atmo- 
sphere was reeking with rebellion, he formed a 
hasty judgement upon the French population of 
that day, which he expressed in hasty and some- 
what haughty language. He thought they could 
not be reconciled to British rule, and stated in his 
report that the conditions should be such in 
Canada that the two provinces should be united, 
so that French Canada should be ruled by the 
stern and relentless hand of an English-speaking 
majority. It is not to be wondered at that when 
the report was made known in Canada, it not 
only caused, as I have said, pained surprise, but 
produced a feeling of injustice and wrong.' 1 

Equal irritation was aroused in Upper Canada 
by the publication of the report, as will be seen by 
the Report of the Select Committee of the House 
of Assembly of the Upper Province, which was 
forwarded by Sir George Arthur to England in 
May 1839. Here is one passage referring to Lord 
Durham's comments on the methods of expenditure 
on public works in the province. 

1 Quoted from the Canadian Hansard. 


' There is something so offensive and unbecoming 
in these passages of the report, as to induce the 
committee, from that and other internal evidence, 
to believe that that portion of it which relates to 
Upper Canada was not written by and never 
received the careful revision of his Lordship.' l 

The House of Assembly and its committee no 
doubt represented mainly those whom Lord 
Durham considered to be the Tories of Upper 
Canada, and the passage in his Report which they 
so bitterly resented hardly called for so much 
resentment. Still the Report might have achieved 
its purpose without giving such dire offence. Its 
great breadth of view might have been more 
appreciated at the time, if the comments had been 
somewhat more carefully worded and a little less 
unc ompr omising. 

This breadth of view might be illustrated by 
quotations on almost every point and on almost 
every page, but it will be enough to take one 
point only and to note the strong and healthy 
Imperialism, the confidence in the English race, 
the love of and pride in the British Empire, which 
is really the keynote of the Report, and which was 
wholly alien to the ordinary Whig doctrines and 
modes of thought at the time when Lord Durham 
went to Canada. He was an Imperialist in the 
best sense. He believed in Libertas, but he believed 
also in Imperium. He was not afraid of force, if 
used for what he conceived to be a good purpose. 
He was not inclined to make concessions, merely 

1 Parliamentary Paper containing copies or extracts of correspondence 
relating to the affairs of Canada, No. 289, June, 1839, p. 27. 


because the majority asked for them, but only, if 
they were sound in principle and likely to conduce 
to future greatness. He did not consider that 
undoing, or at the most giving new machinery, 
was the one and only thing needful. The bent of 
his mind was constructive, and he would not be 
content without creating something greater than 
before. He was not inclined to let the colonies go 
hang. He believed in their potential value to 
England, and in a future for England and for them 
of strength and partnership. England was to give 
them freedom and security, but she was to have 
something in return. ' The country which has 
founded and maintained these Colonies at a vast 
expense of blood and treasure, may justly expect 
its compensation in turning their unappropriated 
resources to the account of its own redundant 
population ; they are the rightful patrimony of 
the English people, the ample appanage which 
God and Nature have set aside in the New World 
for those whose lot has assigned them but in- 
sufficient portions in the Old ' (ii. 13). The 
marginal note to this fine passage is ' Advantages 
derivable by the Mother country from these 
Colonies ' ; and even the inaccuracy which may be 
noted in it, that of treating French Canada as 
though it had been an original colony of Great- 
Britain, bears witness to the same breadth of 
conception, which refused to look upon the 
province of Quebec merely as a conquered depen- 
dency, the home of an alien race, and persisted in 
regarding it as an integral part of the British 
Empire. Similarly Lord Durham's scheme for 


the disposal of the public lands in the British 
North American provinces was ' intended to 
promote the common advantage of the Colonies, 
and of the Mother country ' (ii. 327) ; and in the 
same spirit Charles Buller, in his Report on Public 
Lands, laid stress on the fact that the subject was 
one of Imperial concern. ' Higher interests than 
those of the Colonies, the interests of the Empire 
of which they form a part, demand that Parliament 
should establish at once, and permanently, a well 
considered and uniform system. The waste lands 
of the Colonies are the property, not merely of 
the Colony, but of the Empire, and ought to be 
administered for Imperial, not merely for Colonial, 
purposes ' (Appendix B, iii. 37). 

This British patriotism and Imperial outlook, 
the seeking for what is or may become great and 
broad, and strong, runs through the whole report. 
The French Canadians should be merged in an 
English nationality because they would thereby 
become an integral part of a greater community, 
and have a goodlier heritage. ' It is to elevate 
them from that inferiority that I desire to give 
to the Canadians our English character' (ii. 292). 
The legislative union of all the British North 
American provinces, if it could be accomplished, 
' would form a great and powerful people, pos- 
sessing the means of securing good and respon- 
sible Government for itself, and which, under 
the protection of the British Empire, might in 
some measure counterbalance the preponderant 
and increasing influence of the United States on 
the American continent ' (ii. -309). Responsible 


government should be given not only as a means 
to popular contentment, but also as making for 
strength, whereas ' there is every reason to believe 
that a professedly irresponsible Government would 
be the weakest that could be devised ' (ii. 298). 
One reason given for the union of the two Canadas 
is that ' the full establishment of responsible 
Government can only be permanently secured by 
\/ giving these Colonies an increased" importance in 
the politics of the Empire-!__(ii. 304) ; and this 
permanence of self-government in a strong com- 
munity is held to be necessary ' for the well- 
being of the Colonies, and the security of the 
Mother country ' (ii. 285). Any danger to the 
Imperial connexion from making the colonies 
greater and stronger is scouted. ' I am, in truth, 
so far from believing that the increased power and 
weight that would be given to these Colonies by 
Union would endanger their connexion with the 
Empire, that I look to it as the only means of 
fostering such a national feeling throughout them 
as would effectually counterbalance whatever 
tendencies may now exist towards separation ' 
(ii. 310). By enlarging the colonial unit, by 
widening the area and adding to the population, 
by endowing with responsibility, greater men would 
be produced, new and wider interests would be 
created ; and the danger of Absorption into the 
United States would be met ' by raising up for 
the North American colonist some nationality of 
his own, by elevating these small and unimportant 
communities into a society having some objects of 
a national importance ' (ii. 311). The spirit which 


inspires the Report is indicated by the concluding 
words, in which Lord Durham records his ' earnest 
desire to perpetuate and strengthen the connexion 1 
between this Empire and the~ North American ' 
colonies, which would then form one of the brightest 
ornaments in your Majesty's Imperial Crown '. 

In the debates in the House of Lords on the 
Reunion Bill, in the summer of 1840, Lord Melbourne 
took exception to the terms of the Report. ' There 
were unquestionably many things in that report 
which he did not praise, and which he did not 
think were prudent matters to be brought forward, 
and which he thought it would have been wiser 
to have omitted.' J This was when the committee 
stage was reached on the 7th of July. A week 
earlier, in the debate on the second reading, 
Brougham had declared himself in favour of giving 
up the North American colonies, and so had Lord 
Ashburton. Lord Durham was too outspoken for 
the Whig Prime Minister : he was a better and 
broader Englishman than Brougham. 

In dealing, as briefly as the subject permits, 
with the substance of Lord Durham's Report, it 
is proposed to notice in the first place the two, \ 
main recommendations which it contains, viz. "y 

' *\ 

the reunion of the two Canadas, and the grant 
of responsible government : then to take the 
recommendations made under the following heads : 
public lands, emigration, improvement of means 
of communication, municipalities, administration 

1 Hansard, 1840, vol. Iv, p. 515. 


of justice, and education ; and finally to consider 
the passages of the report which refer to a future 
general union of British North America, those in 
which reference is made to the United States, 
and those which embody Lord Durham's views on 
the Colonial Office, and on colonial administration 

Why did Lord Durham recommend that the 
two Canadas should be reunited, and what form of 
reunion did he recommend ? He recommended that 
the two provinces should be reunited, first and 
foremost, because under existing conditions he 
considered reunion to be a necessary preliminary 
to the grant of responsible government ; secondly, 
because he considered that reunion would result 
in a greater and a stronger whole, with more 
possibilities for the future, and that the interests 
of the inhabitants of both provinces, especially 
of the French Canadians, demanded reunion. 
The form of reunion which he recommended was 

, and not political union 

only but a complete^ amalgamation of peoples, 
races, languages, and laws. He recommended, as 
far as it was humanly possible, absolute unity, 
easier to depict on paper than to carry out into 

It has been noted that the Report is not only a 
special report upon the best means of solving the 
difficulties which had actually arisen in the two 
Canadas, but also in part an essay upon colonial 
administration in general, upon the advantages to 


be derived from giving responsible government to 
British colonies, which are not merely foreign 
dependencies. In itself the principle of responsible 
government was of wide application. Wherever 
the majority of the population consisted of British 
citizens, or of Europeans who had been trained in 
British citizenship, and had enjoyed some measure of 
British institutions, there it was, in Lord Durham's 
view, prima facie, good, sound, and desirable 
that self-government within certain denned limits 
should be established. But though the principle 
was so far of general application, the application 
was necessarily subject to conditions of time and 
place ; and Lord Durham was sent out primarily 
to deal with a particular time and a particular 
place. The particular time was the close of armed 
rebellion, and the particular place, or one of the two 
particular places, was a province which adjoined 
the American Republic, but in which the large 
majority of the inhabitants were of French 
descent. Thus Lord Durham set before himself, 
in regard to Canada, something like the problem 
which Aristotle propounded for solution in the 
Politics. He set himself to consider in the first 
place, what is the best constitution; and in the 
second place, what is the best constitution, given 
a particular set of conditions. He answered the 
second problem not so much by departing from 
his model constitution, as by proposing to alter 
the conditions so as to enable the model con- 
stitution to be brought into being. On the grant 
of self-government he had clearly made his mind 
up before he went out to Canada. After arrival 


in Canada, when brought face to face with existing 
facts, he did not modify his theory to suit the 
facts, but he set himself to modify the conditions 
in order to make the theory practicable. 1 

Thus, in regard to Lower and Upper Canada, the 
two main recommendations of the Report are 
inseparably connected together. He recommended 
that the two Canadas should be reunited, and that 
to the single province thus formed responsible 
government should be given. He commented 
most strongly upon the bad effects produced by 
the want of responsible government in Lower 
Canada, but he did not recommend that under 
existing conditions, Lower Canada, as it stood, 
should be endowed with responsible government. 
He became convinced, when on the spot, that the 
root cause of the evils in French Canada was not 
to be found in the constitution, though the defects 
of the constitution had aggravated the evils. He 
traced the mischief ultimately to race antipathy 
<and race conflict ; and, therefore, he considered 
it to be a necessary preliminary to the jjrant of 
responsible government to French -Cana4a_tliat 
/ in the legislature, to which the new and wider 
powers should be given, a.British majority should 
be assured. ' The fatal feud of origin, which is the 
cause of the most extensive mischief, would be 
aggravated at the present moment by any change 
which should give the majority more power than 

1 From the Life of Sir John Beverley Robinson, pp. 243-4, it \\ould 
seem that Lord Durham was opposed to the Union of the two Canadas 
during his whole stay in Canada. He tells us himself in the Report 
(ii. 304) that on his first arrival in Canada he was inclined to a general 
federation of the provinces of British North America. 


they have hitherto possessed. A plan by which 
it is proposed to ensure the tranquil government 
of Lower Canada, must include in itself the means 
of putting an end to the agitation of national 
disputes in the legislature, by settling, at once and 
for ever, the national character of the province. 
I entertain no doubts as to the national character 
which must be given to Lower Canada ; it must be 
that of the British Empire ' (ii. 288). 

The first part of the Report, which deals with 
Lower Canada, begins with Lord Durham's 
statement that he himself, and most men in 
England, had wholly misapprehended ' the parties 
at issue in Lower Canada ' ; that he had been sent 
out to heal a quarrel between the Executive and 
the popular branch of the Legislature, and found 
a deeper seated cause of strife. ' I expected,' he 
writes in of ten- quo ted terms, ' to find a contest 
between a government and a people : I found 
two nations warring, in the bosom of a single 
state : I found a struggle, not of principles, but of 
races ' (ii. 16). Lord Durham probably somewhat 
exaggerated the strength of the race antipathy, 
but that it existed was undeniable, and it is some- 
what difficult to understand why there should have 
been any misconception on the point. The contro- 
versies in Lower Canada for thirty years past had 
borne the impress of antagonism between the 
French and British races, growing in intensity as 
the years went on. As far back as 1810 Sir James 
Craig had borne the strongest witness to the strength 
of the race feeling in the province, and this feeling 
had been constantly in evidence ever since. 


Papineau had denounced the abortive Reunion 
Bill of 1822 as an attempt to Anglify French 
Canada, and the records of subsequent committees 
and commissions abundantly testified to the 
division of races in Lower Canada. It was well 
known that the Seigniories were French Lower 
Canada, and the Townships, English Lower 
Canada ; that the Legislative Council represented 
the British community, and the Assembly more 
especially the French ; while the last enclosure 
in Appendix A to the Report is ' An Address from 
the Constitutional Association of Montreal to the 
inhabitants of British America ', denouncing in 
the strongest terms the evil influence of French 
domination in Lower Canada, and calling for union 
of the provinces in order to secure a British 
majority. This address is dated January 1836, 
and was, therefore, issued more than two years 
before Lord Durham went to Canada. How 
then, it may be asked, can there have been any 
doubt whatever that the troubles! in Lower Canada 
were mainly due to race ? 

The explanation seems to be in the first place 
that, as has been pointed out, individual men of 
British birth, such as the brothers Nelson, were 
prominent among the popular party to the end, 
and took a leading part in the rising in Lower 
Canada. Their prominence and leadership tended 
to obscure to onlookers the line of race. In the 
second place, that Lord Durham, broad-minded as 
he was, had been a strong party man ; that, 
before he went out to Canada and faced the facts, 
he had formed an a priori view of the situation, 


based on his party creed; that, as one of the 
authors of the great Reform Bill, he had, while 
in England, an intense belief in the efficacy of 
constitutional reform, and had not contemplated 
the possibility of conditions for which it would 
not be an adequate remedy. Such would no doubt 
have been the view of the Whig Government, and 
of the friends and advisers with whom he would 
have taken counsel. But he was man enough, 
after he reached Canada, to recognize that con- 
stitutional reform alone would not meet the case 
of the Lower Province, that the evil was more 
deeply seated and required a more drastic remedy. 
' At the root of the disorders of Lower Canada,' 
he writes in the Report, ' lies the conflict of the two 
races, which compose its population ; until this 
is settled, no good government is practicable ' 
(ii. 72) ; and again, ' Though I have mentioned the 
conduct and constitution of the Colonial govern- 
ment as modifying the character of the struggle, 
I have not attributed to political causes a state 
of things which would, I believe, under any 
political institutions, have resulted from the very 
composition of society ' (ii. 63). 

How far Lord Durham formed a correct estimate 
of the French Canadian problem will be discussed 
later. At present we are simply concerned with 
the substance of his Report. He recommended in 
the plainest and most uncompromising terms the 
gradual extinction of the French Canadian nation- 
ality, the Ajjglifying ofLower^Caiiada. ' I repeat 
that the alteration oTthe character of the province 
ought to be immediately entered on, and firmly, 



though cautiously, followed up ; that in any plan 
which may be adopted for the future management 
of Lower Canada, the first object ought to be that 
of making it an English province ; and that, with 
this end in view, the ascendancy should never 
again be placed in any hands but those of an 
English population ' (ii. 295, 296). This was the 
recommendation of the most advanced Liberal 
among the leading English politicians of the day, 
the man who was most heartwhole in the cause of 
democracy. At first sight it seems curiously at 
variance with Liberalism, especially as Liberalism 
has been interpreted in later days. But Lord 
Durham, as has been seen, had a strong Imperial 
strain in his character ; and moreover, had he been 
challenged as sinning against Liberal principles, 
his Report contained ample materials for reply. 
For he had contended earlier in the Report with 
great force that the English minority in Lower 
Canada represented progress and reform, while 
the French majority stood for unenlightened Con- 
servatism. He was fully determined to entrust 
the internal fortunes of Canada to the will of the 
majority of the population, and his thesis was 
that there was one way, and one only, to carry out 
this great Liberal measure with safety and with 
the prospect of permanence, and that was to ensure 
that the majority should be a British majority. 
He wanted to give, and he determined to give, 
responsible government. Willing the end, he also 
willed the means. ' It is only by the same means, 
by a popular government, in which an English 
majority shall permanently predominate, that 


Lower Canada, if a remedy for its disorders be not 
too long delayed, can be tranquilly ruled. On these 
grounds, I believe that no permanent or efficient 
remedy can be devised for the disorders of Lower 
Canada, except a fusion of the government in that of 
one or more of the surrounding provinces ' (ii. 303). 
Further, we have seen that it was not only as a 
necessary preliminary to the grant of responsible 
government that he recommended the union of the 
two provinces. He recommended it also on its 
merits, in order to make a greater and a worthier 
whole. ' The permanent interests of the French 
Canadians, like the permanent interests of the old 
French Colony of Louisiana, would be promoted by 
merging the more conservative race in the popula- 
tion which had the keeping of the future, instead 
of gratifying ' some idle and narrow notion of 
a petty and visionary nationality ' (ii. 265) ; Upper 
Canada would gain by being given access to the 
sea ; and the citizens of both provinces would gain 
by co-operation for common purposes, by calling 
into existence new and common interests, * by 
raising up for the North American colonist some 
nationality of his own ' (ii. 311). To achieve such 
a great end Lord Durham was not afraid to recom- 
mend drastic measures. It may well be that Buller 
had a large share in forming his views, and in 
enunciating them in such clear and forcible terms ; 
and Buller, it will be borne in mind, was a pupil 
of Carlyle. There is a strong savour of Carlyle in 
the attitude which the Report adopts towards the 
French Canadian nationality. There is no Whig- 
gism whatever in it, no trace of laissez-faire. 

K 2 


Lord Durham was a democrat after the type of 
Cromwell, and few state documents ever embodied 
so strong a policy as is contained in his Report. 

He had originally contemplated federation only, 
not union ; and federation of all the provinces, not 
of the two Canadas merely. He came to the ultimate 
conclusion that union was preferable to federation, 
for the reason already given, that thereby the 
French Canadians would no longer retain their 
individuality and their isolation, and would be 
merged in an English nationality. He would have 
preferred that the union should from the first 
include all British North America, but, under the 
conditions of the moment, he thought, it better 
V to Confine it to the two Caiiadas^wlucl^herrujaited 
i^would be the nucleus for further union. He was 
combining what he considered to be ideally best 
with what the time and the place demanded, but 
never losing sight_of_the conception of a single 
self-governing British. North- America. The union 
of the two Canadas, it must be repeated, was 
to be no half union, no 'mere amalgamation of 
the Houses of Assembly of the two Provinces ' 
(ii. 323), such as had been attempted in 1822, and 
was subsequently carried out ; much less was it to 
be merely some shadowy 'joint legislative authority, 
which should preside over all questions of common 
interest to the two provinces, and which might be 
appealed to in extraordinary cases to arbitrate 
between contending parties in either ', such as 
Lord Glenelg had tentatively suggested in his 
instructions. 1 All was to be one ; the separate 

1 Dispatch of January 20, 1838. 


laws and institutions, the separate language, 
everything, except the religion, which marked the 
French Canadian nationality, and which led Papi- 
neau and his followers to dream and talk of 
a Canadian nation, was to be gradually but com- 
pletely submerged. 

He laid great stress upon the evils produced by 
difference of language. ' The difference of language 
from the first kept them [the two races] asunder ' 
(ii. 38). ' The difference of language produces mis- 
conceptions yet more fatal even than those which 
it occasions with respect to opinions ; it aggravates 
the national animosities, by representing all the 
events of the day in utterly different lights ' (ii. 40). 
Similar views had been held years before by Lord 
Dalhousie, who wrote that the use of two languages 
nourished prejudice and separation of feelings 
between the two classes of people. Lord Durham 
would not have summarily proscribed the French 
language in Lower Canada, but it was an integral 
part of his policy steadily to substitute EngHsK 
for French, until all the inhabitants of the province 
should be English speaking and English reading 
citizens of the Empire. * A considerable time must, 
of course, elapse before the change of a language 
can spread over a whole people ; and justice and 
policy alike require that, while the people continue 
to use the French language, their government 
should take no such means to force the English 
language upon them as would, in fact, deprive the 
great mass of the community of the protection of 
the laws. But I repeat that the alteration of the 
character of the province ought to be immediately 


entered on and firmly, though cautiously, followed 
up ' (ii. 296). ' Until Canada is nationalized and 
Anglified,' wrote the Commissioner of Enquiry into 
the State of Education in Lower Canada, ' it is 
idle for England to be devising schemes for her 
improvement ' (Appendix D, iii. 273). Obviously 
the substitution of the English language for the 
French was absolutely essential, if Lord Durham's 
policy was to be carried out. 

In discussing the disadvantages arising to a 
Dependency from its dependence on the Dominant 
Country, Cornewall Lewis, in the Government of 
Dependencies, 1 comments upon the inexpediency 
of attempting to make a sudden change in the 
language of the dependent people, and quotes 
the case of the attempt made by Joseph II to 
impose the German language on Hungary. He 
also notes ' that the use of a common language is 
consistent with the existence of the strongest 
antipathies between different communities '. But 
Lord Durham did not advocate a sudden change ; 
on the contrary, in the passage which has been just 
quoted, he expressly laid down that the process 
must be gradual, and he advocated change of 
language in order to raise a particular dependency 
from the status of dependence to that of self- 
government. This question of difference of lan- 
guage has through the years complicated the task 
of England in working out her Imperial system, 
but probably most thinking men would agree that, 
while community of language would be best if 
it were practicable, at any given time or place, 

1 1891 ed., chap, ix, pp. 267-9, and note N. 


whether in Canada or in South Africa, the only 
policy which is practically possible, and which is 
consistent with British traditions and instincts, is 
to let the different languages run their course side 
by side. 1 

1 See on this question of language Lord Cromer's Ancient and Modern 
Imperialism (1910) ; he refers to the question in South Africa en p. 103 ; 
his essay, however, deals not with the self-governing dominions of 
Great Britain but with her dependencies ; and with special reference 
to the coloured races, he gives his view (p. 107) that ' language is not, 
and never can be, as in the case of ancient Rome, an important factor 
in the execution of a policy of fusion. Indeed, in some ways, it rather 
tends to disruption, inasmuch as it furnishes the subject races with 
a very powerful arm against their alien rulers '. 

On the other hand, Lord Morley in an address to the English Associa- 
tion on January 27. 1911, spoke of the spread of the English language 
in India as a ' unifying agent ' : 

' I called English the most widespread of living tongues. Surely not 
the least stupendous fact in our British annals is the conquest of a 
boundless area of the habitable globe by our English language. There 
is no parallel. You have been told here, I see, that Arabic is or has 
been our rival. This is a proposition that needs far deeper limitations 
and qualifications than I can either set forth or examine. Arabic 
scholars assure me that though Arabic in Islamic lands for some three 
or four centuries became the medium for an active propagation of ideas, 
and though by the Koran it retains its hold in its own area, and keeps 
in its literary as distinct from its spoken form the stamp of thirteen 
centuries ago, yet there is no real analogy or comparison with the 
diffusion of English. Latin is a better analogy. Latin was universally 
spoken pretty early in Gaul, Britain, Spain, and somewhat later in the 
provinces on the Danube. In the East it spread more slowly, but by 
the Antonines and onwards the spread of Latin was pretty complete, 
even in Africa. Greek was common throughout the empire as the lan- 
guage of commerce in the fourth century. St. Augustine tells us that 
pains were taken that the Imperial state should impose not only its 
political yoke but its own'tongue upon the conquered peoples, per pacem 
societatis. This is what, among other things, is slowly coming to pass 
in India. Though to-day only a handful, a million or so, of the popula- 
tion use our language, yet English must inevitably spread from being 
an official tongue to be a general unifying agent. An Englishman who 
adds to the glory of our language and letters will deserve Caesar's grard 
compliment to Cicero, declaring it a better claim to a laurel crown to 


South Africa is the latest case in which this 
particular question has given trouble, and in 
reference to this and other points, it is interesting 
to read Lord Durham's Report in the light of what 
has taken place in South Africa. His views no 
doubt would have been modified, and might have 
been entirely reversed, in the light of later experi- 
ence, and no two sets of conditions in history are 
wholly alike. It would not have been possible to 
rearrange South Africa so as to secure a British 
majority over the Dutch ; and the native problem 
and many others differentiate the case of South 
Africa from that of Canada. Still it should be noted 
that, while Lord Durham's Report was after the 
South African war freely used to support the case 
of giving responsible government to the conquered 
territories in South Africa, the all-important fact 
was rather left out of sight that this advanced 
democrat, this father of the system of colonial 
self-government, in dealing with a province in 
which there had been only a contemptible rising 
and not a life and death struggle, in which the 
non-British majority had lived and thrived not 
under republican institutions but under British 
rule, laid down as a sine qua non for giving 
responsible government that a British majority 
should be permanently assured. 

have advanced the boundaries of Roman genius than the boundaries of 
Roman rule. Whether Julius was sincere or insincere, it is a noble 
truth for us as well as for old Rome.'' Lord Morley's Address to the 
English Association ', Times, Jan. 28, 1911. 



To the two Canadas, made into one ; to all the 
other British North American provinces, as they 
stood, and when in years' to come they should be 
united to the already united Canadian province, 
Lord Durham recommended that responsible 
government should be given. What did he mean 
by responsible government ? What objections 
were raised to it by British statesmen at the time ? 
and what limits or conditions did Lord Durham 
assign to it ? 

On the 14th of May 1829 Mr. Stanley (afterwards 
Earl of Derby) presented to the House of Commons 
a petition which had been agreed to at a meeting 
held at Yorktown (Toronto), and signed by 2,110 
inhabitants of Upper Canada. According to 
Stanley's speech in presenting the petition, it 
asked, among other points, for ' a local responsible 
ministry '. This is commonly held to be the first 
mention of the term responsible government, which 
subsequently became so familiar. In itself it is 
a somewhat vague phrase, and in some passages of 
his Report Lord Durham uses general terms in 
referring to it. Thus he says that the grant of 
responsible government would be ' a change which 
would amount simply to this, that the Crown would 
henceforth consult the wishes of the people in the 
choice of its servants ' (ii. 285) ; but in other 
passages he makes it perfectly clear that he con- 
sidered the essence of responsible government to 
be that the executive officers should be subordinate 
to the Legislature. ' The wisdom of adopting the 


true principle of representative government, and 
facilitating the management of public__affairs, by 
entrusting it to the persons^wfto]Have^he confidence 
of the representative body, has never been recog- 
nized in the government of the North American 
colonies. All the officers of government were inde- 
pendent of the Assembly T "(ii. 77). By responsible 
government^ then, he meantpand all in England 
and Canada who used the phrase and discussed it 
meant, constitutional government in the accepted 
English sense, as constitutional government had 
been known and practised in England for genera- 
tions. He meant a political system in which the 
Executive is directly *nd \mme>.(\\>]y responsible 

to the Legislature, in which the ministers are 
members of the Legislature, chosen from the party 
which includes the majority of the elected repre- 
sjentatives of the people. He meant a British 
system, and therefore he would entrust its working 
only to a British majority. 

The Act of 1791 had given to either of the two 
Canadas representative institutions without respon- 
sible government. It had embodied, to use Lord 
Durham's somewhat exaggerated words, ' the com- 
bining of apparently popular institutions with an 
utter absence of all efficient control of the people 
over their rulers ' (ii. 74). To Lord Durham, as 
a student of English history, as an heir of English 
traditions, as a foremost fighter in the democratic 
ranks, as England understood democracy, repre- 
sentative institutions without responsible govern- 
ment were a monstrosity, a contradiction in terms. 
4 It is difficult to understand how any English 


statesmen could have imagined that representative 
and irresponsible government could be successfully 
combined ' (ii. 79). ' From the commencement^ 
therefore, to the end of the disputes which mark 
the whole Parliamentary history of Lower Canada, 
I look on the conduct of the Assembly as a constant 
warfare with the Executive, for the purpose of; 
obtaining the powers inherent in a representative 
body by the very nature of representative govern- 
ment ' (ii. 83, 84). 

Now it will be noted that in his Report Lord 
Durham continually contrasts the condition of the 
two Canadas with that of the United States, and 
attributes the greater prosperity, which was in 
evidence in the United States, in part to the fact 
that the citizens of the American republic lived 
' under a perfectly free and eminently responsible 
government' (ii. 261). x Moreover, in one passage he 
lays down that ' this entire separation of the legis- 
lative and executive powers of a state is the natural 
error of Governments desirous of being free from 
the check of representative institutions ' (ii. 79). 
He never seems to have realized, or at any rate he 
ignores, the vital difference between the British 
and the American constitutions, that in the former 
the Executive is, to use Professor Dicey 's terms, 2 

1 On the other hand, Lord Durham says (ii. 331), ' The warmest 
admirers, and the strongest opponents of republican institutions, admit 
or assert that the amazing prosperity of the United States is less owing 
to their form of government, than to the unlimited supply of fertile land.' 

2 The Law of the Constitution, sixth ed., 1902, Appendix, note 3, 
on the ' Distinction between a parliamentary executive and a non- 
parliamentary executive '. Professor Dicey points out (p. 432) that 
' the strong point of a non-parliamentary executive is its comparative 
independence ' On this subject see Mr. Bryce's American Common- 


parliamentary, and in the latter non-parliamentary, 
that the American constitution is an instance of the 
successful combination of representative and (in 
the English sense) irresponsible government ; while 
his statement, that the separation of the legislative 
and executive powers of a state is an error due to 
the desire to be free from the check of representa- 
tive institutions, is amazing in face of the fact 
that this separation had been originally recom- 
mended by political thinkers, and carried into 
effect in America and in France, as a supposed 
security against arbitrary government, as an indis- 
pensable guarantee of a free constitution. 1 

In the United States the people elect the Presi- 
dent ; but, during the President's term of office, 
the executive officers whom he appoints, though 
they belong to the party to which he belongs, and 
therefore are so far in harmony with the wishes of 
the majority of the electors, are, like the President 
himself, not members either of the Senate or of 

wealth. He writes : ' There exists between England and the United 
States a difference which is full of interest. In England the legislative 
branch has become supreme, and it is considered by Englishmen a merit 
in their system that the practical executive of the country is directly 
responsible to the House of Commons. In the United States, however, 
not only in the national government, but in every one of the states, the 
exact opposite theory is proceeded upon that the executive should 
be wholly independent of the legislative branch' (1888 ed., vol. i, 
pp. 385-6). 

1 See on this point Cornewall Lewis's Government of Dependencies, 
Preliminary Inquiry, 1891 ed., p. 41, &c. Locke, Montesquieu, Paley, 
&c., supported this theory of the separation of the legislative and 
executive powers, and Cornewall Lewis says that it ' became in the last 
(the eighteenth) century a sort of political axiom which every one 
supposed himself to understand, and which no one thought of ques- 
tioning '. 


the House of Representatives, but are wholly 
independent of and in no sense responsible directly 
or indirectly to the Legislature. Thus Lord 
Durham, on the one hand, insisted upon the 
vital necessity of responsible government as 
Englishmen understood it, and, on the other, held 
up as a model a country in which the system of 
responsible government in the English sense did 
not and does not exist. He would no doubt have 
contended, if challenged on the point, that the 
two cases of Great Britain and the United States 
were and are entirely differentiated by the existence 
of the Crown in the one case and of the elected 
President in the other, 1 and it is very noteworthy 
what importance this advanced Liberal attached 
to 'the stable authority of an hereditary monarchy' 
(ii. 263) ; but it is a weakness in the Report that, 
with its constant references to the United States, 
it does not seem to appreciate that the political 
system existing in the country, which bordered on 
Canada and which had been colonized from Great 
Britain, was not an accurate illustration of his theory 
of responsible government as embodying the one 
vital principle of a Parliamentary Executive. Why 
did the author of the Report not appreciate the 
difference between the two cases ? Because he 

1 This is clearly pointed out by Merivale in the Appendix, written 
in 1861, to No. XXII of his Lectures on Colonisation and the Colonies. 
Speaking of the American system of a non-parliamentary executive, 
he says, ' Not to speak of other objections to this system, it is clearly 
incompatible with colonial institutions under a Governor appointed by 
the Crown. His ministers would be ministers of the Crown, and 
antagonistic, or so considered, to the community and legislature. It 
might work if governors were elected by the people, as is the American 
President ' (p. 650). 


was intensely British, because he could not con- 
ceive of liberties for white men in lands under 
the British Crown without British Parliamentary 
government. The citizens were to be made 
British, if not -British already ; their institutions 
were to be those, and those only, which he had 
known in Great Britain and helped so largely to 
develop. 1 

As he understood responsible government- 
government with a Parliamentary Executive so 
other English statesmen of the time understood it. 
What were the objections which they took to it ? 
The objections all resolved themselves into the one 
main contention that men cannot serve two masters. 
How, it was argued, is it possible to hWe divided 
responsibility ? If the Executive is responsible to 
the Colonial Legislature, it cannot be responsible to 
the Imperial Parliament ; wRereas4t ^was assumed 

that, if a colony was to remain part of the British 
Empire, its administration must be responsible to 
the Imperial advisers of the Crown and to the 
Imperial Parliament. Thus Lord Glenelg con- 
tended, in his Instructions to Sir Francis Bond 

1 Lord Durham's son-in-law, Lord Elgin, thoroughly understood the 
difference between the British and American systems. Writing to 
Lord Grey from Canada on November 1, 1850, he says : ' The faithful 
carrying out of the principles of constitutional government is a departure 
from the American model, not an approximation to it. ... The fact is 
that the American system is our old colonial system with, in certain 
cases, the principle of popular election substituted for that of nomina- 
tion by the Crown. Mr. Fillmore stands to his Congress very much in 
the same relation in which I stood to my Assembly in Jamaica. There 
is the same absence of effective responsibility in the conduct of legisla- 
tion, the same want of concurrent action between the parts of the 
political machine '. Canadian Constitutional Development (Egerton and 
Grant), p. 327. 


Head, dated the 5th of December 1835, 1 that 
the existing system in Upper Canada, if properly 
worked, was already responsible government, only 
the responsibility lay to the Home authorities. 

' Experience would seem to prove that the 
administration of public affairs in Canada is by 
no means exempt from the control of a practical 
responsibility. To His Majesty and to Parliament 
the Governor of Upper Canada is at all times most 
fully responsible for his official acts. . . This 
responsibility to His Majesty and to Parliament is 
second to none which can be imposed on a public 
man, and it is one which it is in the power of the 
House of Assembly at any time, by address or 
petition, to bring into active operation.' 

It has been seen that in March 1837 the House 
of Commons passed a series of resolutions, one of 
which was in the following terms : ' That while it 
is expedient to improve the composition of the 
Executive Council in Lower Canada, it is unad- 
visable to subject it to the responsibility demanded 
by the House of Assembly of that province.' 
Speaking in support of this resolution, Lord John 
Russell said that the Assembly demanded that 
' the executive council should be a responsible 
council similar to the cabinet in this country ', and 
his comment was : 

' I hold this proposition to be entirely incom- 
patible with the relations between the mother 
country and the Colony. . . . That part of the 
constitution which requires that the ministers of 
the Crown shall be responsible to Parliament and 

1 See House of Commons Paper, No. 113, March 2, 1836, p. 64. 


shall be removable if they do not obtain the confi- 
dence of Parliament, is a condition which exists in 
an Imperial legislature and in an Imperial legis- 
lature only. It is a condition which cannot be 
carried into effect in a colony it is a condition 
which can only exist in one place, namely the seat 
of the Empire.' 

He used similar terms in the debates of the 
following January, when the constitution of Lower 
Canada was being suspended and Lord Durham 
was being sent out ; and, after Lord Durham's 
Report had been received, laid before Parliament, 
and fully considered, he reiterated the same views 
to the new Governor-General of Canada, Poulett 
Thomson, in his dispatch of the 14th of October 
1839, which will be found in the Appendix. It will 
be seen on reference to that dispatch that Lord 
John Russell apparently did not appreciate the full 
force and intent of Lord Durham's recommenda- 
tions. He gives an unqualified negative to the 
grant of responsible government, treating the 
question as decided by the resolutions against it 
which had been passed in Parliament ; but he adds 
that ' while I thus see insuperable objections to the 
adoption of the principle, as it has been stated, 
I see little or none to the practical views of colonial 
government recommended by Lord Durham, as 
I understand them '. The demand had been for 
a Parliamentary Executive on the model of the 
British constitution, for the conversion of the 
Executive Council into a Cabinet. To this Lord 
John Russell answers. The prerogative of the 
Crown in England is never exercised without 


advice. The Governor is the representative of the 
Crown and receives his orders from the Crown. 

' Can the Colonial Council be the advisers of the 
Crown of England ? Evidently not, for the Crown 
has other advisers, for the same functions, and with 
superior authority. It may happen, therefore, that 
the Governor receives at one and the same time 
instructions from the Queen, and advice from his 
Executive Council, totally at variance with each 
other. If he is to obey his instructions from 
England, the parallel of constitutional responsi- 
bility entirely fails ; if, on the other hand, he 
is to follow the advice of his council, he is no 
longer a subordinate officer, but an independent 

Lord John Russell then goes on to point out that 
the force of these objections had been felt in regard 
to questions of other than internal concern, draw- 
ing the distinction which had been drawn in Lord 
Durham's report and to which further reference 
will be made ; but he maintains that, even in regard 
to the purely domestic matters of a colony, the 
principle of responsible government is inadmissible. 
He held, and others held with him, that a colony 
must either be a dependency or an independent 
state. Cornewall Lewis, writing in 1841, took the 
same view. 

' If the government of the dominant country 
substantially govern the dependency, the repre- 
sentative body cannot substantially govern it ; and 
conversely, if the dependency be substantially 
governed by the representative body, it cannot be 
substantially governed by the Government of the 
dominant country. A self-governing dependency 

1352'J L 


(supposing the dependency not to be virtually 
independent) is a contradiction in terms.' ] 

Many years later, in 1870, we find similar views 
still put forward by a Colonial Governor of great 
ability and long experience. Sir Philip Wodehouse, 
Governor of the Cape Colony, contending against 
the proposal to give responsible government to 
that colony, and opposing it largely on the ground 
of the existence of the native population, wrote : 

' I have never regarded responsible government 
as applied to a colony, more properly speaking 
a dependency, as anything less than an absolute 
contradiction in terms. How can a ministry, 
responsible to its own constituencies, render 
obedience to the permanent power ? The issue 
between them may be shirked or postponed, but 
it must come. Responsible government I have 
always held to be applicable only to communities 
fast advancing to fitness for absolute independence, 
and I think that the course of events in British 
North America, Australia, New Zealand, and 
Jamaica has, in different forms, gone very far to 
establish that view.' 2 

Occasion will be taken later to note how far these 
objections were valid, and what light subsequent 
history has thrown upon them/ The contention in 
Lord Durham's Report was that a clear line could 
be drawn between matters of Imperial and matters 
of purely colonial concern, and that in regard to 
the second class of questions, those of purely 
colonial concern, the colony should no longer be 

1 Government of Dependencies, 1891 cd., chap, x, p. 289. 
1 Correspondence relating to the Affairs of the Cape of Cood Hope, 
C. 459, 1871, p. 15. 


a dependency ; that on the contrary, it should be 
given through national institutions the sense of 
national existence ; and that, in reference to these 
internal matters, the Governor, as the representa- 
tive of the Crown, should act on the advice of 
a colonial cabinet, not on the advice given to the 
Crown by ministers in England. He states his 
case so clearly that it is difficult to understand how 
Lord John Russell could have felt any doubt about 
his meaning, except for the fact that the Report, 
in order to emphasize the opinions of the writer, 
is apt to exaggerate the contention of those who 
held the contrary view. Thus, in the following 
passage, Lord Durham represents those who were 
opposed to responsible government as maintaining 
that 'the administration of a colony should be 
carried on by persons nominated without any 
reference to the wishes of its people ', a statement 
which is not only too wide but directly contrary to 
the tenor of Lord Glenelg's dispatches. 

Otherwise the passage sums up precisely the 
meaning and intent of responsible government : 

' I know that it has been urged, that the prin- 
ciples which are productive of harmony and good 
government in the mother country, are by no 
means applicable to a colonial dependency. It is 
said that it is necessary that the administration of 
a colony should be carried on by persons nominated 
without any reference to the wishes of its people ; 
that they have to carry into effect the policy, not 
of that people, but of the authorities at home ; 
and that a colony which should name all its own 
administrative functionaries would, in fact, cease 
to be dependent. I admit that the system which 



I propose would, in fact, place the internal govern- 
ment of the colony in the hands of the colonists 
themselves ; and that we should thus leave to them 
the execution of the laws, of which we have long 
entrusted the making solely to them ' (ii. 280-1). 

Thus, within certain limits or under certain 
restrictions, Lord Durham recommended that, 
given a majority of British citizens, Canada or any 
British colony under similar conditions to those of 
Canada, should be self-governing as England is 
self-governing, that is to say, that within those 
limits it should be subject to the Crown only, 
advised by the colonial ministers, who should be 
members of and responsible to the Colonial Legis- 
lature. What were these limits and restrictions ? 
In the last pages of the Report Lord Durham 
sums up his recommendations, and we have an 
outline of the constitution which he proposed for 
Canada. The two provinces were to be reunited 
under one Legislature, and reconstituted as one 
province ; the Bill to be introduced into the 
Imperial Parliament for reuniting the two provinces 
was to provide for the voluntary admission of the 
other North American provinces into the Union at 
a later date ; a Parliamentary Commission was to 
be appointed to mark out electoral divisions and 
give representation as nearly as possible in pro- 
portion to population ; the two provinces in this, 
as in other matters, were to be dealt with as one, 
and any plan for giving an equal number of 
representatives to Lower and to Upper Canada 
was to be discarded ; the same Parliamentary 
Commission was to form a plan for constituting 


elective local bodies subordinate to the General 
Legislature, and the plan was to be embodied in 
an Imperial Act, so as to prevent the General 
Legislature from encroaching on the local bodies ; 
' a general Executive on an improved principle ' 
was to be established, and with this recommenda- 
tion is coupled a recommendation that a Supreme 
Court of Appeal should be established for all the 
British North American Colonies ; this General 
Executive was to be such that ' the responsibility 
to the United legislature of all officers of the 
Government, except the Governor and his Secre- 
tary, should be secured by every means known 
to the British Constitution ' ; the constitution of 
the Legislative Council was to be revised by the 
Imperial Parliament, so as to enable it ' to act as 
an useful check on the popular branch of the 
legislature', without a repetition of the collisions 
between the two Houses which had occurred in 
past years ; the entire administration of thgjpublic 
lands was to be left to the Imperial Government ; 
all the other revenues of the Crown were to be 
given over to the Legislature in return for an 
adequate Civil List ; the judges were to be placed 
in the same position, as regards tenure and salary, 
as in England ; no money votes were to be pro- 
posed except with the consent of the Crown, i.e. 
by the responsible ministers. In a previous passage 
Lord Durham had specified that the .only matters 
in which the mother country need retain control 
over the colony were, ' the constitution of the form 
of government, the regulation of foreign relations 
and of trade with the mother country, the other 


British colonies, and foreign jiations^-aniL the dis- 
posal of the public lands- ^ii. 282). 

The above being an outline of Lord Durham's 
proposals, the answer to the question, What limits 
or restrictions did he contemplate in respect to the 
grant of responsible government? is, first, that 
he drew a line between matters of imperial and 
matters of purely colonial concern ; and secondly, 
that in what he considered to be the purely colonial 
sphere, he made certain recommendations which 
would have the effect of restricting the powers of 

the elected branch of the Legislature. Under the 

first head he reserved to the control of the Imperial 
Government the constitution of the colony, its 
foreign relations, the whole of its external trade, 
and the whole of its public lands. It will be noted 
that he does not mention the control of the armed 
forces on land or sea. Presumably he would have 
included this most important matter under the 
head of foreign relations ; but how far he would 
have left the militia laws, and the control of the 
militia in normal times, to the discretion of 
the Colonial Legislature, does not appear. By 
reserving to the Imperial Government the manage- 
. ment of the public lands, he reserved control of no 
small proportion of the colonial revenues; and, 
turning to the second head, it will be noted that he 
insisted, as a matter of course, on also reserving a 
Civil List, and on securing in permanence the sala- 
ries of the judges. These reservations were directly 
contrary to the claims which had been so persis- 
tently advanced by the Assembly of Lower Canada. 
It is true that Lord Durham coupled them with 


the grant of responsible government, but the 
French-Canadian leaders had contended that, on 
its merits, a permanent Civil List was not suited 
to the circumstances of the Province of Quebec. 
In this respect, and in others, notably in the 
recommendation that money votes should only be 
initiated upon the authority of the Crown, we trace 
the intensely British cast of Lord Durham's mind. 
The new system in Canada was to be the British 
system ; responsible government was to be given 
in internal matters, because England had respon- 
sible government ; but all the British checks were 
to be applied. On the subject of the Legislative 
Council the Report is disappointing, and gives no 
guidance. Lord Durham tells us what the Council 
should not be ; he condemns its existing com- 
position, he dismisses the possibility of recon- 
stituting it upon the lines of the House of Lords, 
and thereby departs from his British model, but 
he gives no hint as to how it should be recast, and 
contents himself with insisting that it should be 
an effective check upon the popular Legislature, 
again looking to the British system, and again 
controverting, to some extent at any rate, the 
French-Canadian views. Lastly, writing, we may 
assume, with the Municipal Corporations Act, 
which the Whig Government had carried in 1835, 
fresh in his mind, 1 Lord Durham lays the greatest 
stress upon the establishment of a good system of 

1 ' In 1835 the Municipal Corporations Act restored to the inhabitants 
of towns those rights of self-government, of which they had been 
deprived since the fourteenth century ' (Green's Short History of the 
English People, Epilogue). 


municipal institutions, as a check upon the General 
Legislature. The local bodies in Canada were to be 
subordinate to the General Legislature, but they 
were to take something from it, notably the oppor- 
tunities which dabbling in purely local matters 
gave for jobbery and corruption. As colonial 
liberties were to be safeguarded against interfer- 
ence from home by the grant of responsible govern- 
ment, so local liberties were to be safeguarded 
by Imperial Statute and by the prerogative of 
the Crown against interference on the part of the 
Central Legislature. ' A general legislature, which 
manages the private business of every parish, in 
addition to the common business of the country, 
wields a power which no single body, however 
popular in its constitution, ought to have ; a 
power which must be destructive of any con- 
stitutional balance ' (ii. 287). 1 


Lord Durham's Report abounds in references to 
questions connected with lands and land tenure 
in British North America, seigniories, townships, 
clergy reserves, and the like ; and twenty-one 
continuous pages of the Report in the original Blue 
Book form, out of one hundred and nineteen, are 
devoted to the Disposal of Public Lands and 
Emigration. The best known of the Appendices 

1 On this subject, the value of municipal institutions as a corrective 
of the Central Legislature, see Merivale's Lectures on Colonisation and 
Colonies, Appendix of 1861, pp. 651-4. He points out how the colonial 
legislatures in Australia would not adopt the policy of creating local 
bodies ' partly because its adoption would have diminished the excessive 
power of the central legislature '. See also below, pp. 217-9. 


is Charles Buller's Report upon the same question, 
which Buller tells us in his account of Lord Dur- 
ham's mission was, as a matter of fact, really due 
to Gibbon Wakefield. Buller also supplied a short 
special Report upon militia claims to grants of 
land ; his assistant, Mr. Hanson, made a special 
Report on the excessive appropriation of public 
lands under the name of clergy reserves ; and 
among the Appendices which have not been re- 
printed are a long Report on the Jesuits' estates, 
made by Mr. Dunkin, secretary to the Commission 
of Enquiry into the State of Education in Lower 
Canada, another Report by Buller on the Com- 
mutation of the Sulpician feudal tenures, more 
especially in the island of Montreal, and a Report 
by Turton on the establishment of a Registry of 
Real Property in Lower Canada. 

Corresponding to the space allotted to the 
consideration of land questions is the strength of 
the terms in which Lord Durham emphasizes the 
importance of the subject of public lands. ' The 
disposal of public lands in a new country has more 
influence on the prosperity of the people than any 
other branch of government ' (ii. 242). ' In the 
North American colonies of England, as in the 
United States, the function of authority most full 
of good or evil consequences has been the disposal 
of public land ' (ii. 206). Such a scheme as Buller 
outlined, and he adopted, for the disposal of public 
lands, was, in his opinion, If more calculated tharl 
any other reform whatever to attach the people\ 
of British North America to Your Majesty's throne,] 
and to cement and perpetuate an intimate con- 


nexion between the colonies and the mother 
country ' (ii. 207-8). ' The warmest admirers, and 
the strongest opponents of republican institutions, 
admit or assert that the amazing prosperity of the 
United States is less owing to their form of govern- 
ment, than to the unlimited supply of fertile land, 
which maintains succeeding generations in an un- 
diminishing affluence of fertile soil ' (ii. 331). 

Two points should be noted at the outset. The 
JirsJ} is that the part of the Report which deals 
with the disposal of public lands is the one part 
which includes in fact, and not merely in name, the 
whole of British North America, with the excep- 
tion of Newfoundland.^ Thejsecond point is that, 
when dealing with public lands and emigration, 
Lord Durham has in view the interests of the 
mother country as immediately and directly as 
those of the colonies. 1 At the beginning of the 
Report he speaks of the lands and resources of 
British North America as ' the rightful patrimony 
of the English people, the ample appanage which 
God and nature have set aside in the New World 
for those whose lot has assigned them but in- 
sufficient portions in the Old ' (ii. 13). At the end 
of the Report he sums up, ' I see no reason, there- 
fore, for doubting that, by good government, and 
the adoption of a sound system of colonization, 
the British possessions in North America may thus 
be made the means of conferring on the suffering 
classes of the mother country many of the bless- 
ings which have hitherto been supposed to be 
peculiar to the social state of the New World ' 
(ii. 331-2). Lord Durham had a scheme for, or 


a vision of, the true management of colonies, and 
their full and free development, but always in con- 
nexion with and in relation to the mother country. 
His scheme included on the one side constitutional 
reform, with subsidiary reforms appended. The 
basis of this was responsible government, and in 
proposing responsible government he was concerned 
to consider how much he could give to the colonies, 
so as to make the colonial legislatures national 
legislatures. The other side of the scheme looked 
rather towards the mother country, and in regard 
to the disposal of public lands he was concerned 
to hold for the mother country what he considered 
that the mother country had won. His concep- 
tion was broad and generous. He looked out upon 
the Empire as a whole, and did not forget the 
interdependence of the interests of the different 
parts. He was imperially minded, whether he con- 
sidered the colonies or whether he considered the 
mother country ; and to his mind public lands and 
emigration formed a necessary complement to con- 
stitutional reform. In the matter of responsible 
government primarily he gave to the colonies, in 
the matter of public lands primarily he kept for 
the mother country. 

It will be remembered that in emphasizing the 
importance of the subject of public lands, in deal- 
ing with it as a matter of prime interest to the 
mother country, and in the method of disposal of 
the lands which he put forward, he was the mouth- 
piece of Gibbon Wakefield's views. Wakefield had 
been with him in Canada, and the Report was 
written and published just at the time when the 


principles which Wakefield had laid down in regard 
to public lands and colonization found most general 
acceptance. In 1834 the South Australian Act 
had been passed, and at the end of 1836 that 
colony was founded, intended to be a model 
colony, planted upon the lines of the Wakefield 
system. In August of that same year, 1836, the 
Select Committee of the House of Commons upon 
the disposal of public lands in the British colonies 
issued their Report, embodying Wakefield's views ; 
and although Canada, as Lord Durham reminds 
us, was not directly within the purview of that 
committee, there are abundant references in the 
evidence given by Wakefield himself, as well as by 
other witnesses, to the dealings with land in the 
British North American colonies. Both before he 
went to Canada and after his return, Lord Durham 
was in close touch with Wakefield in the schemes 
for the colonization of New Zealand. In short, 
he and Charles Buller alike were in this matter 
Wakefield's disciples ; Wakefield must be credited 
with the special Report on the subject which bears 
Charles Buller's signature; and whoever actually 
wrote the part of the main Report which relates to 
public lands and emigration, no one doubts that 
the inspiration came from Gibbon Wakefield. 
* The essence of the Wakefield system was, that 
all the public lands of a colony should be sold at 
a uniform substantial fixed price, and that the 
proceeds of the sales should be mainly devoted to 
sending out emigrants who, from the high price 
of the land, would not be able to become land- 
holders in the first instance, but would supply the 


labour necessary for the development of the new 
country, while relieving the competition in the 
labour market at home. The system will be found 
fully discussed in Meriyalels lectures on coloniza- 
tion and colonies, 1 and reference should be made 
to a speech made by Sir William Molesworth on 
the subject in the House of Commons on the 27th 
of June 1839, a few months after the publication 
of Lord Durham's and Buller's Reports. 2 Moles- 
worth spoke in support of resolutions embodying 
Waken" eld's principles. The resolutions set forth 
the advantages to the United Kingdom -to be 
derived from ' the occupation and cultivation of 
waste lands in the British colonies by means of 
emigration '. They laid down that ' the pros- 
perity of colonies, and the progress of colonization, 
mainly depend upon the manner in which a right 
of private property in the waste lands of the colony 
may be acquired ', and that the most effectual 
method of disposing of the waste lands was ' the 
plan of sale at a fixed uniform and sufficient price, 
for ready money, without any condition or restric- 
tion, and the employment of the whole or a large 
fixed proportion of the purchase money ' in pro- 
viding passages for emigrants. They further laid 
down that ' it is essential that the permanence of 
the system shall be secured by the legislature, 
and that its administration should be entrusted 
to a distinct subordinate branch of the Colonial 

1 Among later accounts see chap, i in Book III of Professor Egerton's 
Xhort History of British Colonial Policy. 

See the Selected Speeches of Sir William Molesworth, edited by 
Professor Egerton. 1903. Speech on the Wakcfield system of disposing 
of the colonial lands. 


department, authorized to sell Colonial lands in 
this country ', and to raise loans for emigration 
on the security of the land sales. Finally they cited 
the success which had attended the application of 
the system in the case of South Australia. Moles- 
worth, in his speech, credited Wakefield with first 
enunciating in 1829 the principles set out in the 
resolutions, and developing them in 1833. He 
said that they had been partially adopted by the 
Colonial Office in 1832, and had been embodied in 
the South Australian Act ; that in 1836 they were 
recognized by Lord Glenelg in a circular addressed 
to the West Indian colonies ; that in the same year 
they were approved by the committee of the House 
of Commons, to which reference has already been 
made ; and that they had been confirmed by the 
transportation committee which reported in 1838. 
' They form,' he continued, ' no inconsiderable 
and by no means the least valuable portion of 
Lord Durham's report on Canada. My honourable 
friend the member for Liskeard (Charles Buller) 
has adopted them in his able report on the waste 
lands of the North American colonies. And lastly, 
within a few weeks, a company with a capital of 
250,000, has been established on these very prin- 
ciples, to colonize New Zealand.' 

Nowhere in the world, perhaps, have lands 
and land tenure figured so largely in political 
liistory as in British North America. A library 
of books might be written upon British North 
American land questions without exhausting the 
subject, and probably without elucidating the 
most confusing questions which present them- 


selves to any one who studies the Blue Books 
and Reports. 

There was in the first place the question of the 
dual system of land tenure in Lower Canada, 
the French and the English, the feudal tenure and 
that of free and common soccage. The com- 
petition and conflict between the two tenures had 
gone on ever since the date of the Royal Pro- 
clamation of 1763, long before the Constitution 
Act of 1791 had divided the Province of Quebec 
into the two Canadas ; and in course of time, after 
the passing of that Act, its result had been to 
create in Lower Canada an English district, as 
opposed to the French regions of the seigniories. 
The seigniories lay along the St. Lawrence. ' Along 
the alluvial banks of the St. Lawrence and its 
tributaries, they [the French Canadians] have 
cleared two or three strips of land, cultivated them 
in the worst method of small farming, and estab- 
lished a series of continuous villages, which give 
the country of the seigniories the appearance of a 
never-ending street ' (ii. 28-9). The townships lay 
away from the St. Lawrence on the borders of the 
United States. They formed the English part of 
Lower Canada. Thus the Assistant Commissioners 
of Municipal Enquiry reported that ' The bulk of 
the population of the townships is composed of old 
American loyalists and more recent settlers from 
the United States ; the remainder are emigrants 
from Britain ' (Appendix C, iii. 142) ; and earlier, in 
1823, a petition from the townships to the House 
of Commons recited that * The townships, or English 
Lower Canada, are peopled wholly by inhabitants of 


British birth and descent, and American loyalists, 
amounting at present to about 40,000 souls, who 
have no other language than that of their British 
ancestors, who inhabit lands granted under the 
British tenure of free and common soccage, who 
have a Protestant clergy V Not the least interest- 
ing feature in the townships was the fact that they 
originated, as Buller and Lord Durham point out, 
in the practice of * Leaders and Associates ', 
whereby the land regulations were evaded and 
the lands which were granted by the Crown 
became accumulated in very few hands. The 
following is the evidence given on the subject 
before Buller's Commission by John Davidson, one 
of the Commissioners of Crown Lands in Lower 

' After the passing of the Constitutional Act of 
1791, lands were granted by patent to leaders of 
Townships and their associates. Under this system 
1,200 acres were granted to the leader, and 1,200 
acres to each of his associates, it being quite 
notorious that in many cases the whole, and in 
none less than 1,000 acres, were immediately re- 
conveyed by each associate to the leader. . . . The 
whole was a plan devised for the purpose of elud- 
ing the instructions from the Home Government, 
under which no person could obtain a grant of 
more than 1,200 acres.' 

Thus the land in the eastern townships was 
taken up, largely by Americans, on British tenure, 
and thus a distinctively English district grew up 
in the land of the French Canadians. But the 

1 Appendix to the Report of the Parliamentary Committee of 1828 
on the Civil Government of Canada, p. 323. 


English, with their predilection for the free and 
common soccage tenure, were not to be found only 
in the townships. They invaded also the seig- 
niories. ' The wealthy capitalist, 5 Lord Durham 
tells us, ' invested his money in the purchase of 
seigniorial properties, and it is estimated that at 
the present moment full half of the more valuable 
seigniories are actually owned by English pro- 
prietors ' (ii. 36). One of them was ' Bear ' Ellice, 
who became owner of the seigniory of Beauharnois, 
and it was at his instance that provisions were 
embodied in the Canada Trade Act of 1822 to 
facilitate the conversion of French into English 
land tenure. This was followed by the Canada 
Tenures Act of 1825, which was avowedly intended 
gradually to extinguish the French system. These 
enactments met with much hostility from the 
Nationalist party in the Quebec Assembly, who 
considered them to be part of a policy designed to 
denationalize French Canada, and contended that 
the effect of the Tenures Act was to convert the 
seignior into an English landlord, and to deprive 
the censitaire or habitant of the rights which he 
enjoyed under the old feudal tenure. 

Again and again the French Canadian party 
renewed their protests, and in 1836 they went so 
far as actually to pass a Bill, which the Legislative 
Council rejected, repealing the two Imperial Acts, 
so far as they provided for commutation of French 
into English tenure. It seems strange that Lord 
Durham made no specific recommendations on the 
main subject in his Report ; but Buller tells us 
that it had been fully intended to deal with the 

1352-1 M 


question ; the extinction of the feudal tenures was 
a necessary part of the scheme for converting 
Lower Canada into a British province; and in 
reference to the Sulpician seigniory in the island of 
Montreal, Buller speaks of * the pernicious influ- 
ence of these feudal tenures, which in all parts of 
the province retard the extension of its commerce 
and the development of its natural resources ', 
just as Lord Durham himself writes of ' ancient 
and barbarous laws ' (ii. 265). The attitude which 
was taken up on the subject by the Imperial 
Government, and definitely stated in Lord Glenelg's 
Instructions to Lord Gosford in July, 1835, 1 was 
that the matter must eventually be settled by or 
at the instance of the local Legislature, and by the 
local Legislature of United Canada the question 
was finally determined, when, in the year 1854, 
they passed the Act ' for the abolition of feudal 
rights and duties in Lower Canada '. 

The troubles arising out of conflicting systems 
of land tenure, one French and the other English, 
were confined to Lower Canada. The difficulties 
which were created by the system of clergy re- 
serves were common to both the provinces, but 
were especially prominent in Upper Canada, where 
Lord Durham considered the clergy reserves to be 
' the most mischievous practical cause of dissen- 
sion ' (ii. 179). 

These reserves had been called into being by 
the Constitutional Act of 1791, certain sections of 
which provided that there should be a permanent 

1 Copy of Instructions given to the Earl of Gosford, &c. } House of 
Commons, Paper, No. 113, March, 1836, p. 10. 


appropriation of public lands in the two provinces 
for the endowment of a Protestant clergy. As 
regards the future it was enacted that, whenever 
grants of Crown land were made, an amount of 
land was to be reserved for the purpose of such 
endowment, as nearly equal in value as could be 
estimated to one-seventh of the lands which were 
granted for other purposes. The Act went on to 
authorize the creation of parsonages or rectories 
in each parish according to the establishment of 
the Church of England, and there ensued an inter- 
minable controversy, more especially in the Pro- 
testant province of Upper Canada, as to whether 
the scope of the Act was confined to the Church 
of England or included also other Protestant 
denominations. Apart from this fruitful element 
of dissension, the provisions in question operated 
as a bar to what would now be called closer settle- 
ment, for, whenever Crown land was alienated, 
a certain amount was locked up in clergy reserves, 
which remained undeveloped for want of the 
capital necessary to develop them. To meet this 
evil an Imperial Act was passed in 1827, 1 permit- 
ting the Government to sell a certain proportion 
of the reserves, the proceeds to be applied to the 
improvement of the unsold reserves or to the 
purposes for which the reserves were originally 
made. The action of Sir John Colborne in estab- 
lishing a large number of Church of England 
rectories, to which Lord Durham refers (ii. 175), 
greatly increased the opposition to the system, 
although, as has been already pointed out, 

1 7 & 8 Geo. IV. c. 62. 
M 2 


Colborne acted in accordance with the Secretary 
of State's views in 1832, and the course which he 
adopted was upheld in the courts of law. The 
system, in short, had given rise to abuses, as is 
shown in Mr. Hanson's Report on the excessive 
amount of land which had been appropriated for 
the purposes in question; it had caused much 
practical inconvenience ; and it had proved to be 
out of place and out of time, for in Lower Canada 
the overwhelming number of the inhabitants were 
Roman Catholics, with a fully developed and time- 
honoured church organization, while Upper Canada 
was a new and sparsely settled country, in which 
the great majority of the colonists, though they 
were Protestants, were not members of the Church 
of England. 

' The apparent right which time and custom 
give to the maintenance of an ancient and re- 
spected institution cannot exist in a recently 
settled country, in which everything is new ; and 
the establishment of a dominant church there is 
a creation of exclusive privileges in favour of one 
out of many religious denominations, and that 
composing a small minority, at the expense not 
merely of the majority, but of many as large 
minorities ' (ii. 178). 

The prominence which the question of the clergy 
reserves attained in the politics of Upper Canada 
may be in part attributed to the strong character 
of Strachan,^ the leader (though a Scotchman) of 
the Church of England party in the province, and 
a foremost figure in the ' Family Compact '. 
Shortly after Lord Durham left Canada, Strachan 


was, towards the end of 1839, created the first 
Church of England Bishop of Toronto, and as he 
played a great part in the secular as well as in 
the Church politics of the time, so the system, of 
which he was the champion, became, apart from its 
merits or demerits, one of the burning questions 
in the political life of Upper Canada. Lord Dur- 
ham was more specific in his recommendation on 
this subject than he was in regard to the seigniorial 

' It is most important that this question should 
be settled, and so settled as to give satisfaction to 
the majority of the people of the two Canadas, 
whom it equally concerns. And I know of no 
mode of doing this but by repealing all provisions 
in Imperial Acts that relate to the application of 
the Clergy Reserves, and the funds arising from 
them, leaving the disposal of the funds to the local 
legislature, and acquiescing in whatever decision 
it may adopt ' (ii. 179). 

As will be told later, this recommendation was 
eventually carried out, and in 1854 the Canadian 
Parliament passed an Act by which the clergy 
reserves were finally secularized. 

It has been noticed that among the Appendices 
to Lord Durham's Report are Reports upon the 
Jesuits' estates, and upon the desired commutation 
of the feudal tenures enjoyed by the Seminary of 
St. Sulpice. At the time of the cession of Canada 
to Great Britain, the Jesuits owned various seig- 
niories and other valuable landed property in 
Lower Canada. After the passing of the Quebec 
Act in 1774, the new Royal Instructions. given to 


Governor Carleton on the 3rd of January, 1775, 
expressly ordered * that the Society of Jesuits be 
suppressed and dissolved, and no longer continued 
as a body corporate and politic, and all their rights 
and possessions and property shall be vested in 
Us for such purposes as we may hereafter think 
lit to direct and appoint '. It was not, however, 
until 1800 that the Crown took full possession of 
the estates. In the meantime, in or about 1770, 
King George III had given some promise of 
these estates to Lord Amherst as a reward for 
his services in Canada, and the claim of the 
Amherst family was not finally extinguished until 
1803. In Canada it had always been contended 
that the proceeds of the Jesuits' estates ought to 
be devoted to education, and eventually, in 1831, 
Lord Goderich handed over the revenues from 
this source to the Quebec Legislature for educa- 
tional purposes. In the following year that Legis- 
lature passed an Act applying the funds in ques- 
tion to education, and by a later Canadian Act of 
1856 the Jesuits' estates were appropriated to form 
' The Lower Canada Education Investment Fund '. 
Many years afterwards, subsequent to the Con- 
federation Act, the provincial Legislature of Quebec 
passed in 1888 the Jesuits' Estates Act, under 
which a sum of $400,000 was paid in compensa- 
tion for the property which the Jesuits had once 
owned. 1 

It will be observed that Lord Durham criticizes 
the British Government on the ground that ' it 
has applied the Jesuits' estates, part of the pro- 

1 Sec The Seigniorial System in Canada, Muuro, p. 250, note 4. 


perty destined for purposes of education, to supply 
a species of fund for secret service ; and for a 
number of years it has maintained an obstinate 
struggle with the Assembly in order to continue 
this misappropriation ' (ii. 136). From the Report 
of the Commissioner of Inquiry into the State of 
Education in Lower Canada (vol. iii, App. D), and 
from Mr. Dunkin's special Report upon the Jesuits' 
estates, it is clear that this criticism applies wholly 
or mainly to the years between 1800 and 1831, 
Mr. Dunkin's account being that ' the revenues of 
the estates during the interval between this period 
(1800) and the year 1831, when they were sur- 
rendered by the Provincial Parliament for the 
support of education, were appropriated by the 
local executive as a part of the property of the 
Crown, and no report as to the mode of their 
application was made public '. 

The Seminary of St. Sulpice had never, like the 
Jesuits, fallen under the ban of the British Govern- 
ment. On the contrary, the Sulpicians had been 
allowed to retain undisturbed possession of their 
estates, and in consequence it was held by the law 
officers of the Crown in England, who were con- 
sulted in the matter during Sir James Craig's 
Government, by Lord Goderich in 1831, and by 
Lord Gosford and his fellow commissioners, who 
made a special Report upon the question in October 
1836, that the Crown could not without great 
hardship disregard their proprietary rights. The 
Sulpicians owned three seigniories in the district 
of Montreal, one of which included nearly the 
whole island of Montreal, and the object of Lord 


Gosford and his colleagues, as well as of Charles 
Buller's later recommendations, was 

which were 

felt to be a growing encumbrance in proportion 
to the growth of the city of Montreal. No time 
was lost in dealing with the matter after Buller 
had reported. In April 1839jbhe Special Council 
of Lower Canada passed an ordinance incorporat- 
ing the seminary, confirming~Fts title o~its seig- 
niories, and providing for the commutation of the 
seigniorial rights^ thereby ^to ^ate^EE^rords in 
which the objects of^tEef ordinance were described 
' relieving a wealthy and enterprising com- 
munity from the encumbrances and drawbacks 
of a feudal tenure '. The ordinance contained 
a clause providing that it should not take effect, 
until confirmed by an Imperial Act, or other legis- 
lative authority competent which the Special 
Council was not to give it perpetuity. Sir John 
Colborne from Canada, and Lord Durham in Eng- 
land, earnestly pressed that the matter should be 
settled without delay ; and in the following year, 
1840, by duly authorized local legislation this long 
outstanding question was set to rest. 1 

1 What happened was rather complicated. The Special Council for 
Lower Canada was created by the Imperial ' Constitutional Act Suspen 
sion Act, 1838.' That Act provided that any laws passed by the Council 
should expire on November ], 1842, ' unless continued by competent 
authority.' Therefore the Council could not in any case apart from 
the reservation clause in the ordinance referred to in the text legislate 
in perpetuity for the Seminary of St. Sulpice. But in August 1839 the 
Imperial Parliament passed the Suspension Act Amendment Act, 1839, 
which repealed the provision making laws passed by the Special Council 
expire on November 1, 1842, and the same Act, while prohibiting the 
Special Council from legislating on the temporal or spiritual rights of 


In all new countries, as a general rule, land 
companies play a prominent part, and Canada was 
110 exception to the rule. Two companies deserve 
special mention, one of which went to work in 
Upper Canada, the other in the eastern townships 
of the Lower Province. The former, the Canada 
Company, was the elder of the two, and was given 
legal recognition by an Act of the Imperial Parlia- 
ment, passed in June 1825, 1 which was followed by 
a Royal Charter incorporating the company and 
bearing the date of the 19th of August 1826. The 
preamble of the Act shows clearly that the object 
which the Government had in view in passing it, 
was the settlement and cultivation of the Crown 
and clergy reserves in Upper Canada by sale 
within limits to a chartered company ; and Buller, 
in his Report on Public Lands, wrote that ' The 
sale to the Canada Company, though in form an 
exceptional method of disposing of public lands, 
was in effect, and was intended to be, a delegation 
of the powers of Government in this important 

ecclesiastics, or the law of tenure, made a special exception in favour of 
legislation for commuting the seigniorial rights of the Seminary of St. 
Sulpice. When the Act had been passed, Lord John Russell, who was 
then Secretary of State for the Colonies, returned the ordinance to be 
revised and re-enacted. Meanwhile there had been considerable opposi- 
tion to it in Canada on the ground that it was too favourable to the 
Seminary. Poulett Thomson therefore passed a new ordinance through 
the Council in 1840, following more closely the lines laid down by Buller, 
and less favourable to the ecclesiastics. There was still some opposition 
both in Canada and in England, but the ordinance was allowed to 
stand. When the Canadian Act ' for the abolition of feudal rights and 
duties in Lower Canada ' was passed in 1854, the settlement which had 
been made was safeguarded, but further provisions with regard to the 
Seminary and its tenures were included in the Seigniorial Amendment 
Act of 1859. l An amending Act was passed in 1828. 


particular to a private company ' (Appendix B, 
iii. 55). 

The quantity of land sold to the company, and 
the terms on which it was sold, are given as follows 
in the evidence of John Radenhurst, chief clerk of 
the Surveyor-General's office in Upper Canada, 
who appeared before Buller's Commission. 

' The company at first contracted for the pur- 
chase of 1,384,413 acres of Crown Reserves and 
829,430 of Clergy Reserves at 3s. 6d. per acre. The 
Government were, however, unable to perform 
their contract, so far as related to the Clergy 
Reserves, and, as a substitute, the company were 
aUowed to select 1,100,000 acres in a block on the 
shores of Lake Huron, at the same price for the 
whole as was to have been paid for 800,000 acres 
of Clergy Reserves, making the whole of their pur- 
chase 2,484,413 acres ; the purchase money was 
to be paid in the following annual instalments, viz. 
In the year ending July 1827, 20,000; 1828, 
15,000; 1829, 15,000; 1830, 15,000; 1831, 
16,000; 1832, 17,000; 1833, 18,000; 1834, 
19,000 ; 1835, 20,000 ; and 20,000 a year for 
the next seven years. The company was to be at 
liberty to expend one third part of the purchase 
money of the block of 1,100,000 acres in public 
works and improvements within such block of 
land, such as canals, bridges, roads, churches, 
wharfs, and school houses, &c.' 

John Gait, the Scotch novelist, had much to do 
with the inception and the early work of the Canada 
Company. He was the founder of Guelph, and the 
town of Gait bears his name. The main sphere of 
the company's operations was the Huron district, 
due west of Toronto, between Lakes Huron and 




Ontario ; and undoubtedly much was done to 
develop and settle this part of Upper Canada. 
In 1856 an Imperial Act was passed giving facilities 
for winding up the company ; but when the Colonial 
Land and Emigration Commissioners issued their 
last colonization circular in 1877, they reported 
that the company had still 400,000 acres to sell or 
lease. A further Imperial Act was passed in 1881, 
and the Company is still in active operation. 

The British American Land Company made an 
agreement with Stanley, afterwards Lord Derby, 
then Secretary of State for the Colonies, on the 
3rd of December 1833. Under this agreement the 
Government sold to the company 847,661 acres in 
the eastern townships for 120,000, payment being 
at the rate of 3s. Qd. an acre for Crown reserves 
and surveyed land, and 3s. for unsurveyed land. 
The company was incorporated by Royal Charter 
on the 20th of March 1834, and the charter was 
confirmed by Act of Parliament dated the 22nd of 
May 1834. /The charter extended to the whole of 
British North America, including Newfoundland, 
and the company was empowered to hold lands 
purchased from the Crown or from private persons 
up to three millions of acres at any one time in the 
British North American provinces. One section 
of the Act authorized the commutation of any 
feudal rights on lands acquired under , seigniorial 
tenure into free and common soccage./ The com- 
pany's operations were, as a matter of fact, confined 
to the eastern townships, where the actual amount 
of land acquired from the Crown seems not to have 
been quite as large as was specified in the first 


contract with the Government. The colonization 
circular of 1877, to which reference has been made 
above, states that the company purchased from 
the Crown in the eastern townships, where its 
head-quarters were at Sherbrooke, about 767,000 
acres, and that the directors were then offering for 
sale nearly 500,000 acres. The company met with 
bitter opposition from the French Canadian maj ority 
in the Quebec Legislature, and repeated demands 
were made that the charter should be cancelled 
and the Act repealed. The introduction of British 
immigrants, which was welcome in Upper Canada, 
was resented by the French of Lower Canada as 
part of a policy designed to denationalize the 
province. It was contended that the Executive 
Government had no right to dispose of the waste 
lands of the province without the authority of the 
Legislature ; and that, in the sale to the company 
of so large a tract of land, the rights of the Canadian 
people had been disregarded in favour of mono- 
polists in the United Kingdom, and the rights of 
cultivators in favour of landlords. There were two 
Acts of Parliament which were constant sources of 
complaint against the Imperial Government by the 
Quebec Legislature, both connected with land- 
one was the Tenures Act, the other was the Act 
which confirmed the charter of the British American 
Land Company. The Imperial Government, how- 
ever, refused to entertain any proposals which 
involved repudiating their contract, and the com- 
pany is still in existence, working under the pro- 
visions of successive Imperial Acts, the latest of 
which was passed in 1894. 


A troublesome and long-standing question con- 
nected with land in Canada was that of claims to 
land by those who had served in the militia in the 
war of 1812. So far as Lower Canada was con- 
cerned, this question formed the subject of a 
special Report by Charles Buller, which is given in 
App. A (vol. iii) ; and Lord Durham embodied in his 
own main Report (ii. 225-30) the instructions which 
he gave to the commissioners whom he appointed 
to settle the claims, after receiving Buller's recom- 
mendations. Some time after the war of 1812, 
free grants of land in the Lower Province were 
promised by Royal Instructions to militiamen who 
had served in the war, the boon being intended for 
the six battalions of embodied militia, as opposed 
to what was known as the sedentary militia, 
though some of the latter also preferred claims. 
The grants were to range from 100 acres to the 
privates to 1,200 to the commanding officers. 
They were to be made on condition of settlement ; 
but sufficient facilities for settlement were not 
given, and the land claims were in large measure 
disposed of by the militiamen to land speculators. 
There resulted, in Buller's words, 'the maximum 
of injury to the province with the minimum of 
benefit to the militiamen ' ; and, on his recom- 
mendation, Lord Durham appointed a board of 
commissioners to investigate the claims, and to pay 
off those claimants who had made good their title 
by orders representing the money value of the 
land to which they were entitled, at the average 
selling price of Crown lands during the last ten 
years. There had been similar trouble in Upper 


Canada in the years after the war ; and John 
Richards, who had been specially deputed by the 
Imperial Government in 1830 to visit the British 
North American provinces and make a Report in 
connexion with Waste Lands and Emigration, 1 
wrote : 

' The Province of Upper Canada appears to have 
been considered by Government as a land fund, 
to reward meritorious servants. Lots are given to 
reduced officers ; say, 1,200 acres to a Colonel, 
1,000 to a major, 800 to a captain, 500 to a lieu- 
tenant, 200 to a serjeant, and 100 to a disbanded 
soldier, and to the United Empire Loyalists, their 
sons and daughters, 200 acres each.' 

The interest of the matter lies in noting not 
merely or mainly the abuses which arose from 
making free grants of land to disbanded soldiers, 
but rather the great part which the practice played 
in the history of Canada. Thus in the days of 
Louis XIV, when Colbert and Talon were busy 
colonizing Canada, discharged soldiers of the 
famous Carignan Salieres regiment were planted 
out on the land under feudal tenure. After the 
cession of Canada to Great Britain, by the Royal 
Proclamation of 1763, grants of land were offered 
to soldiers and sailors who had served in America 
in the previous war on conditions of settlement ; 
similar grants were offered after the war of American 
Independence. It was in principle a good and 
sound method of rewarding those who had fought 
for their country, and attaching to the soil colonists 

1 The report was made in January 1831, and laid before the House 
of Commons in March 1832, No. 334. See p. 4. 


who had shown that they could defend it. But 
in the case in point, the militiamen had already 
their homes in the land, and there was no question 
of attracting them to remain in it as settlers. 
Moreover, as Buller pointed out, in Lower Canada 
' the majority of the militia were French Canadians, 
who have not hitherto been, and are not now, an 
emigrating people ' ; the result, therefore, of giving 
them grants of land would at best only have trans- 
ferred them reluctantly from one district of the 
province to another, while the actual outcome was 
to make the land claims the subject of traffic and 

Various other questions connected with lands in 
the two Canadas might be noted. There was 
a difficulty caused by squatters who had settled 
on the waste lands of the Crown without any legal 
title. Their case is referred to in Buller's Report, 
and Lord Durham met or proposed to meet it by 
naming a date, and giving to all bona fide settlers, 
who had established themselves on Crown lands 
without title before that time, a right of pre- 
emption at the price which had been fixed for 
Crown lands in their neighbourhood. He wrote 
a separate dispatch on this matter, and it formed 
the subject of later correspondence between Lord 
John Russell and Poulett Thomson. There was 
again the subject of the lands assigned to the Six 
Nation Indians in Upper Canada ; but, without 
further reference to these specific questions, it is 
time to comment upon the general subject of Crown 
lands in Canada, and upon Buller's scheme, which 
was Wakefield's scheme, and which Lord Durham 


adopted for dealing with the lands in the public 

Buller's, or rather Wakefield's, scheme was 
designed partly to remedy the evils which had 
resulted from the profusion of land grants in the 
past ; partly to provide a sound working system 
for disposing of public lands in the future. In the 
past the Government had parted with a vast 
amount of land to private owners, with the result 
that much was locked up and uncultivated. In 
order to bring these lands into cultivation, Buller 
proposed that a tax at the rate of 2d. an acre 
should be levied upon all wild lands, and that the 
proceeds of the tax should be applied, either 
directly or by being made part security for a 
development loan, to making roads, improving 
communications, and facilitating the settlement 
of the country. Proprietors were to be allowed to 
pay the tax in land, such land * to be taken by the 
Government at the rate of 4s. per acre, in lots of 
not less than 100 acres ' ( App. B, iii. 88). Thus the 
Government would recover some of the land which 
had been alienated in the past, and the proprietors 
who paid the tax would be recouped for losing 
some of their land, by the increased value which 
would accrue from the proceeds of the tax to the 
lands which they still retained in their own hands. 
The tax was to be imposed and its continuance 
guaranteed by a central authority, the Imperial 
Parliament. As regards the future, BuUer recom- 
mended that all public lands should be sold not by 
auction, but at a fixed price ; that this fixed price 
should be uniform, one and the same in all parts 


of British North America, and that the money 
should be paid at the time of sale. The price, he 
suggested, might be 10<s. an acre, though he doubted 
whether it was not too low. ' Even at that price, 
there is great reason to fear that labouring emi- 
grants may be induced to become purchasers before 
they have either the requisite capital or knowledge 
to qualify them for the position they will thus 
assume. The produce of the fund, also, will be 
scarcely adequate to the objects to which it ought 
to be applied, the construction of public works 
and the promotion of emigration' (iii. 113). He 
named the sum in question as a compromise, noting 
that the neighbourhood of the United States 
must be an element in determining the price, and 
that the question therefore was perhaps one to be 
left to and settled by the authority to which the 
administration of the public lands would be con- 
tided. He recommended that no limit should be 
placed to the amount of land which any one man 
might buy ; that all reserves of every kind, in- 
cluding the clergy reserves, should be thrown open 
to purchase and settlement ; and that ' public 
land in all the North American colonies should 
be open to purchase by all persons to whatever 
country they may belong, requiring, if necessary, 
that the subject of a foreign power should at the 
time of purchase take the oath of allegiance ' 
(iii. 108). This provision he considered to be 
especially desirable, in order to encourage settlers 
from the United States ; and both he and Lord 
Durham criticized, with some inaccuracy, 1 the 

1 See note 1 to ii. 172. 

1352-1 N 


measures which had been taken in Upper Canada 
after the war of 1812, to prevent land being held 
by American citizens, for Buller laid great stress 
on the value to Canada of American settlers 
* none form such efficient pioneers of civilization.' 
The funds derived from land sales, and from 
licences for cutting timber, in addition to the pro- 
ceeds from the tax on wild lands belonging to 
private proprietors, were to be applied to making 
roads, railways, and canals, and to introducing 
emigrants, who were rather to work for wages on 
first arrival than to take up land for themselves ; 
and at the outset loans were to be raised upon the 
security of the funds, partly for public works and 
partly for emigration. The whole scheme was to 
be embodied in an. Act of Parliament ; and when 
the principles had been laid down and ratified by 
law, the practical working was to be entrusted to 
a central commission in the United Kingdom, with 
subordinate commissioners in the North American 
colonies, all acting under the supreme control of 
the Secretary of State for the Colonies. 

Similarly, guided by Wakefield, as Lord Durham 
and Buller were guided, the Select Committee of 
1836 had recommended, with regard to the Aus- 
tralian and West Indian colonies and the Cape, 
' that the whole of the arrangements connected 
with the sale of land, including both the price 
and the precise mode of sale, should be placed 
under the charge of a Central Land Board, resi- 
dent in London, and made responsible either to 
some existing department in the Government, 
or to Parliament directly, as may be deemed 


expedient '. The outcome was the appointment 
in 1840 of the Board of Land and Emigration 
Commissioners, who worked in subordination to 
the Secretary of State for the Colonies and the 
Lords of the Treasury. 

Thus the public lands in British North America 
were to be administered upon a definite system, 
for the benefit alike of the colonies and of the 
mother country ; but the authority, under which the 
system was to come into being, was the Imperial 
Parliament and not the Colonial Legislatures ; and, 
though .Reports of the proceedings of the com- 
missioners were to be laid before the Colonial Legis- 
latures as well as before the Imperial Parliament, the 
Executive was to be directly responsible not to any 
colonial authority but to the Secretary of State. 

Further and separate reference will be made 
below to emigration and improvement of means of 
communication, to which the funds derived from 
public lands were to be applied ; but it will be 
borne in mind that these two subjects were from 
Lord Durham's and Buller's point of view insepar- 
ably connected with the disposal of public lands, 
and were an integral part of a great scheme of 
colonization. Towards the end of his Report 
(ii. 327-31) Lord Durham summarizes the whole. 
On the ' management of public lands ' he writes, 
' The plan, which I have framed for the manage- 
ment of the public lands, being intended to pro- 
mote the common advantage of the colonies and 
of the mother country, I therefore propose that 
the entire administration of it should be confided 
to an Imperial authority.' Then, passing on to 

N 2 


the ' measures to promote emigration ', he says, 
'In conjunction with the measures suggested for 
disposing of public lands, and remedying the evils 
occasioned by past mismanagement in that depart- 
ment, they form a plan of colonization to which 
I attach the highest importance. The objects, at 
least, with which the plan has been formed, are 
to provide large funds for emigration, and for 
creating and improving means of communication 
throughout the provinces. . . .' Then, reviewing 
the prospective ' benefits of a judicious system of 
colonization ', he lays down that * it is by a sound 
system of colonization that we can render these 
extensive regions available for the benefit of the 
British people. . . . The experiment of keeping 
colonies and governing them well, ought at least 
to have a trial, ere we abandon for ever the vast 
dominion which might supply the wants of our 
surplus population, and raise up millions of fresh 
consumers of our manufactures, and producers of 
a supply for our wants.' 

It has been noted that Lord Durham ANUS 
a strong and convinced Imperialist, and that, in 
the matter of public lands, he kept his eyes fixed 
on the mother country at least as much as on the 
colony. This point of view was characteristic of 
the group of public men to which he and Buller 
and Gibbon Wakefield belonged. They were, in 
modern phraseology, Radicals, but the reverse of 
Little Englanders ; and their attitude will be better 
appreciated, if it is contrasted with the views on 
public lands in the colonies which are contained 
in Cornewall Lewis's Government of Dependencies, 


published in 1841, two years after Lord Durham's 
Report was given to the press and to Parliament. 
In the chapter on * The advantages derived by 
the dominant country from its supremacy over 
a dependency ', Lewis l discusses the advantage 
accruing to the people of a dominant country 
from the possession of a dependency, ' in the 
facilities for emigration and for the acquisition 
and cultivation of land which it may afford to 
them ' ; and he argues that ' the system of defray- 
ing the expenses of emigrants from the proceeds 
of the sale of public lands in the colony does not 
necessarily suppose that the new settlement is a 
dependency of the country which sends out the 
emigrants ', that ' there is nothing in the colonial 
relation which implies that the colony must be 
a dependency of the mother country, nor generally 
is it expedient that such a relation should exist, 
even in the case of a newly founded settlement.' 
Lord Durham had no sympathy with this point of 
view. He wished to give responsible government 
to Canada, and so far to remove it from the 
category of dependencies ; but at the same time 
he would have emphatically rejected the reasoning 
which treated the political connexion between 
Great Britain and Canada, in the matter of public 
lands and emigration, as of no real advantage to 
either party. 

Sir William Molesworth spoke in high praise of 
the passages in Lord Durham's Report which refer 
to public lands, and of Buller's special Report on 
the subject. It is true that no part of the whole 

1 1891 ed., pp. 225-9. 


inquiry was more detailed, more elaborated, or 
more complete, but, in the light of subsequent 
experience, it must be added that no part was so 
academic or so divorced from living realities. On 
paper the principles which Wakefield laid down 
were sound and broadly based ; his reasoning was 
logical and conclusive ; and indirectly his doc- 
trines produced no little practical good. But new 
countries and the English race do not lend them- 
selves to cut-and-dried systems. English emigrants 
go out to live as they think best, and not as they 
are ordered, and colonization and uniformity have 
little in common. The success which Lord Durham 
credited to the Wakefield system was nowhere 
attained ; indeed the system was never fuUy and 
consistently tried ; and whatever scope there may 
have been for its application in Australia, in 
British North America the field was already too 
much occupied, the conditions which past history 
had evolved were too various, to make a uniform 
system for all the British North American pro- 
vinces even a remote possibility. Uniformity was 
impossible ; and even more impossible, in the light 
of the political controversies which had taken 
place, more especially in Lower Canada, was the 
proposed combination with the grant of respon- 
sible government of Imperial control over the 
public lands. 

It will be remembered that when, in 1831, the pro- 
ceeds of the taxes which were raised under the Quebec 
Revenue Act were handed over to the Legislatures 
of the two Canadian provinces, the casual and 
territorial revenues of the Crown were still reserved ; 


that the control of these revenues formed one of 
the main issues between the Imperial Government 
and the Legislature of Lower Canada; and that 
the position taken up by the Imperial Government 
was, roughly, that these funds would be handed 
over to the local Legislature when certain con- 
ditions had been complied with, principal among 
which was the provision of a Civil List. In February 
1831 Lord Aylmer, then Governor-General, in 
a message to the Quebec House of Assembly, 
classified the casual and territorial revenues of the 
Crown under the following heads * : 

(1) Rents, Jesuits' estates. 

(2) Rent of the King's Posts. 

1 See the House of Commons Paper of July 15, 1831, Canada Crown 
Revenues. These funds were enumerated by Mr. John Davidson, 
Commissioner of Crown Lands in Lower Canada, in his evidence before 
Buller's Commission, as follows : 

Of what does the landed property of the Crown in this Province 
consist ? 

All the estates which were held by the King of France at the time of 
the conquest, which may be arranged as follows : 

1st. Certain fiefs in the city of Quebec and town of Three Rivers, 
whereof the censitaires held immediately under the Crown. 

2nd. The forges of St. Maurice, which were established by the old 
French Government and have been let for different terms to private 

3rd. The King's trading posts, which signifies that portion of the Pro- 
vince of Lower Canada between the settled lands on the north bank of 
the St. Lawrence and the land held under the Charter of the Hudson's 
Bay Company, and which tract is held by that Company under a lease 
that secures to them the sole right of hunting, fishing, and trading on 
that territory. The lease expires in 1842. 

4th. The King's Wharves in Quebec, which were originally formed by 
the old French Government, and have been improved by the British 
Government, and are now let upon lease to individuals. 

5th. The estates held at the time of the conquest by the late order of 
Jesuits, which upon the extinction of that order in the Province were 
reserved by the Crown, and which consist of extensive seigniories and 


(3) Forges of St. Maurice. 

(4) Rent of King's Wharf. 

(5) Droit de Quint. 1 

(6) Lods et Ventes. 1 

(7) Land fund. 

(8) Timber fund. 

The average receipts from these sources in Lower 
Canada amounted at this date to no more than 
upwards of 7,000 per annum, whereas the revenues 
which were raised under the Quebec Revenue Act, 
and which in this year, 1831, were handed over to 
the Quebec Legislature, were estimated, on an aver- 
age, at 38,000 per annum. In other words, the 
public lands in Lower Canada, even after 1830, 
only formed one item, or, including timber, two 
items in a list of Crown receipts the sum total of 
which was not more than about one-fifth of the sum 
which had been derived from taxes levied under 
Imperial Acts, and which the Imperial Govern- 
ment had controlled prior to 1831. In specifying 
the items of the casual and territorial revenues, 
Lord Aylmer, as already stated, insisted that these 

of other property, including buildings in the city of Quebec and town 
of Three Rivers. 

6th. All the beaches and water lots upon all navigable rivers. 

The beaches consist of the land on botli sides of the rivers between 
the highest and lowest water -mark, and the water lots extend from the 
lowest water -mark into deep water. 

7th. The whole of the waste and unappropriated land within tlio 

In addition to this the Crown is entitled to a mutation fine upon the 
sale of seigniories, varying from the maille d'or, which is a nominal 
acknowledgement, to one-fifth part of the purchase, which is the more 
common fine, and payable in either case before the seignior is admitted 
to perform fealty and homage. 

1 Tiie ' Quint ' and the ' Lods et Ventes ' were mutation fines, the 
former paid by the seignior, the latter by the censitaire. See Munro's 
Seigniorial System, in Canaia. 


revenues were the property of the Crown. ' They 
stand upon a perfectly different ground from taxes, 
properly so called. They are enjoyed by the Crown, 
by virtue of the Royal Prerogative, and are neither 
more nor less than the proceeds of landed property, 
which legally and constitutionally belongs to the 
Sovereign on the throne.' This account of the 
funds would have been strictly accurate, if it had 
been given before William IV came to the throne ; 
but it was overlooked at the time when Lord 
Aylmer addressed the Quebec Legislature, and 
apparently it was more or less overlooked for many 
years afterwards, 1 that by the Civil List Act which 
was passed when King William IV became king, 
and again by the Civil List Act of Queen Victoria, 
all the casual revenues of the Crown, whether 
within or without the United Kingdom, were made 
part of the Consolidated Fund. Thus in 1831, and 
afterwards, the casual and territorial revenues of 
the Crown in British North America, including the 
waste lands, were not the property of the Crown, 
but the property of the Imperial Government. The 
confusion on the subject was finally cleared up 
in the year 1852, when the Imperial Parliament 
passed ' An Act to remove doubts as to the lands 
and casual revenues of the Crown in the colonies 
and foreign possessions of Her Majesty.' 

Buller, in his Report (iii. 37), spoke of the waste 
lands as ' in name the property of the Crown ' ; 
and Lord Durham wrote (ii. 209) that ' the whole 

1 The point, however, was appreciated by Lord Gosford and his 
fellow commissioners, and noticed in the first of their reports, which 
dealt with the Crown revenues in Lower Canada. See the House of 
Commons Paper of February 20, 1837, No. 50, p. 12. 


of the public lands have been deemed the property 
of the Crown ' ; but there is little or no indication 
in Buller's Report or in Lord Durham's that these 
waste lands, to which they attached such great 
importance, and from which under proper manage- 
ment they, hoped so much, had been included and 
more or less hidden away in the list of casual 
and territorial revenues of the Crown : and Lord 
Durham makes no specific mention of public lands 
when, in referring to the sources of public revenue 
in Lower Canada, he writes : ' With the exception 
of the small amount now derived from the casual 
and territorial funds, the public revenue of Lower 
Canada is derived from duties imposed partly by 
Imperial and partly by provincial statutes ' (ii. 141). 
Lord Glenelg, on the contrary, had fully appre- 
ciated the position, when in his instructions to 
Lord Gosford and his colleagues in July 1835, he 
indicated that while he was prepared to hand over 
to the Quebec Legislature the casual and terri- 
torial revenues in return for an adequate Civil List, 
the concession would include the right of appro- 
priating the revenues arising from Crown lands, 
but would not include the management of those 
lands which would be retained in the hands of 
the Executive Government. On this basis Lord 
Gosford and his fellow commissioners made their 
recommendations; but Lord Durham and Buller 
practically ignored what had gone before, and dis- 
cussed the question of the disposal of public lands 
very much as though the time-honoured dispute 
as to the control of the territorial revenues of the 
Crown had never existed. The result was that 


whereas in Lower Canada these revenues were to 
have been handed over to the local Legislature in I 
return for the grant of a Civil List, Lord Durham 
proposed to withhold from the United Legislature 
of the two Canadas both the management of public 
lands and the funds accruing from land sales and 
land taxes, and further to insist ' on the conces- 
sion of an adequate Civil List' (ii. 327) as the 
price of giving up to the Legislature the remaining 
revenues of the Crown. The recommendation was 
a curious pendant to the grant of responsible 
government. While anxious to give free institu- 
tions, to create a national spirit and a national j 
pride, while pleading the cause of self-government 
with rare eloquence and cogent reasoning, Lordx 
Durham, at the same time and in the same scheme, 
withheld from the proposed national Legislature 
more than the Imperial Government for years had 
contemplated withholding. 

It was in no narrow or timid spirit that he put 
forward his scheme. He was broad-minded in 
withholding as in granting ; he withheld, because 
in the matter of public lands he conceived that 
Imperial interests were at stake ; but his recom- 
mendation was impossible in view of what had 
gone before in Canada, and more impossible when 
coupled, as it was, with the grant of responsible 
government. To ignore in this matter previous 
political controversies and previous conditional 
promises was only to invite a recrudescence of 
bitterness against the Imperial Government and 
the mother country. To give free institutions, but 
at the same time to withhold the control of the 


soil and the revenues arising from it, was little 
better than a contradiction in terms. 

Hence it must be summed up that, however 
broad was Lord Durham's conception of the right- 
ful disposal of public lands, however suggestive 
was the form in which his views were embodied, 
under the actual conditions of place and time, 
and under the political conditions which he pro- 
posed to create, his scheme was wholly imprac- 


In an interesting and often quoted Parliamen- 
tary Paper, to which Lord Durham refers (ii. 115), 
and which was laid before the House of Commons 
in March 1832, entitled ' Copy of the Report of 
Mr. Richards to the Colonial Secretary respecting 
the Waste Lands in the Canadas and Emigration ', 
the author of the report writes that ' much was 
said to me in the colonies upon the two questions 
of spontaneous and regulated emigration ; and the 
great evil of which they complain was the entire 
absence of wholesome regulation. I feel, therefore, 
fully convinced, whatever course may be ultimately 
adopted, even if the present loose mode is to go 
on, that the necessity of reducing it to a system 
will be forced upon us V In the interval between 
Mr. Richards' visit to British North America and 
Lord Durham's mission, something had been done 
by the Government in the direction of safeguard- 
ing emigrants, including the passing in 1835 of an 
amended Passengers' Act ; but, according to 

1 No. 334. Canada, Waste Lands, p. 23. See above, p. 174. 


Durham and Buller, who as disciples of Wakefield 
were entirely in favour of ' systematic emigra- 
tion ', very much more remained to be done, and 
the parts of their reports which deal specially with 
emigration are mainly devoted to pointing out 
existing evils, and emphasizing the need of further 
regulation by Government. Lord Durham con- 
cludes his comments on the subject with the 
remark, ' All the gentlemen, whose evidence I have 
last quoted, are warm advocates of systematic 
emigration. I object, along with them, only to 
such emigration as now takes place without fore- 
thought, preparation, method, or system of any 
kind ' (ii. 259). In this, as in other respects, Durham 
had 110 sympathy with the coming Manchester 
school. He believed in Government intervention, 
and, as will be further noted, both he and Buller 
criticized the view which the Government Com- 
mission 011 Emigration in 1831 had upheld, that 
the direct interference of the State was not required 
in connexion with emigration to British North 
America. 1 

The close of the Napoleonic wars was the 
beginning of the modern history of emigration 
from the British Isles. The Report of May 1838, 
to which Durham and Buller refer, and which was 
written by Mr., afterwards Sir T. F. Elliot, in his 
capacity of Agent-General for Emigration from 
the United Kingdom, states that for the first ten 
years after the Peace the average annual number 
of emigrants to Canada was about 9,000, that for 

1 Sec ii. 253-j of Lord Durham's Report and note, and Buller's 
Report, Appendix B, iii. 119. 


the five years ending with 1831 the average was 
20,000, and that in the year 1831 over 50,000 
passed through the port of Quebec. Between 1816 
and 1834 the emigration from the United Kingdom 
to British North America was as a rule much 
larger than to the United States, but with the 
year 1835 the tide turned and ran strongly in 
favour of the United States, where the Irish now 
went by preference, having previously emigrated 
or been assisted to emigrate largely to British 
North America. 1 The first Imperial grants in aid 
of emigration seem to have been made in the years 
1821, 1823, and 1825, to assist emigrants from the 
South of Ireland to Canada and the Cape, and the 
first vote for an emigration establishment was in 
1834, when a small sum was provided to cover the 
pay of emigration agents at Liverpool, Bristol, 
Dublin, Belfast, Cork, Limerick, and Greenock. 
In 1826 and 1827 committees of the House of 
Commons considered emigration at very great 
length ; and the committee of 1827, among other 
recommendations, advised that a Board of Emigra- 
tion should be constituted ' under the direct con- 
trol of an executive department of the State '. In 
131 Lord Goderich appointed the Government 

1 But even in the year 1837, if the figures given in an Appendix to 
Elliot's report are correct, out of 29,884 emigrants who left the United 
Kingdom for British North America, the emigrants from Irish ports 
numbered 22,463, against 7,421 from Great Britain, while out of 36,770 
who left for the United States, they numbered only 3,871, against 
32,899 from Great Britain. Elliot's Report was printed for the House 
of Commons on May 14, 1838, No. 388, ' Copy of a report to the 
Secretary of State for the Colonies from the Agent-General for Emigra- 
tion from the United Kingdom.' Reference is made to it on pp. 248 and 
253-4 (voL ii) of Lord Durham's Report, and on p. 119 (voL iii) of 
Buller's report. 


Commission 011 Emigration, to which reference has 
been made, and which consisted of five members, 
including the Parliamentary Under-Secretary of 
the Colonial Office, Lord Howick (afterwards Lord 
Grey), and the Permanent Under-Secretary, Mr. 
Hay, while the secretary of the commission was 
Elliot, also a member of the Colonial Office. This 
commission was dissolved in 1832, and the Colonial 
Office was left to carry out its recommendations, 
until in 1837 Elliot was appointed Agent-General 
for Emigration ; and finally in 1840, after Dur- 
ham's and Buller's Reports had been published, 
the Board of Colonial Land and Emigration Com- 
missioners was established, Elliot being one of the 
three commissioners. This Board was not wholly 
abolished until the year 1878. 1 

Such legal provision as had been made in past 
times for the protection of emigrants on the out- 
ward voyages, was largely embodied in clauses of 
the Customs Acts. The first Act, which was 
definitely known as the Passengers' Act, was 
passed in 1825, though an Act of the kind had been 
passed as early as 1803. The Act of 1825 was 
repealed in 1827 upon the recommendation of the 
House of Commons Committee on Emigration, 
apparently because the Committee considered that 
it involved unnecessary interference with oversea 
transit. It was, however, re-enacted, as far as 
concerned British North America, in 1828 ; and in 

1 See the Paper on Emigration and the Land and Emigration Board, 
which forms Appendix XVII to the Report of the Departmental Com- 
mittee on Agricultural Settlements in British Colonies, vol. ii, Minutes 
of Evidence, &c., Cd. 2979, 1906, p. 327. 


1835 an amended Passengers' Act was passed. 
Tliis was the Act which was in force when Durham 
and Buller reported. Several later Acts were 
passed, notably in 1842, 1849, and 1855, and now 
the provisions of the Passengers' Acts are included 
in the Merchant Shipping Acts, the principal of 
which is the Act of 1894. 

Various strains of emigrants contributed to the 
peopling of Canada in the earlier years of the 
nineteenth century, as they contribute to it now. 
The House of Commons Committees of 1826 and 
1827, the later of which called Malthus as a witness, 
and largely relied on his evidence, invited special 
attention to the condition of the Irish labouring 
classes, and to the terrible distress which had been 
caused among the weavers in Lancashire and other 
parts of the North of England, as well as in the 
South of Scotland, by the substitution of machinery 
for handlooms. It was held that emigration from 
Ireland to the king's dominions beyond the seas 
ought to be encouraged and assisted, in order to 
prevent the emigration which was already taking 
place from Ireland to England and Scotland, 
thereby lowering the already too low wages of the 
English and Scotch labourers ; and there had 
been an object-lesson in emigration from Ireland 
in 1823 and 1825, when Peter Robinson, with the 
help of Government funds, took out emigrants from 
County Cork and successfully planted them in 
Upper Canada. On the first occasion he had some 
difficulty in inducing between 500 and 600 to 
emigrate ; on the second, according to his own 
evidence before the 1827 Committee, he selected 


2,000 out of 50,000 who were ready to emigrate. 
The starving haiidloom weavers supplied a large 
number of emigrants, many of whom were Scotch- 
men from Lanarkshire and Renfrew. Numbers of 
emigration societies came into existence from 1820 
onwards ; and private individuals, landlords, and 
others, gave money to promote emigration, among 
them being Lord Egremont, who, in 1832, started 
an emigration scheme at Petworth in Sussex, and 
the excellence of whose arrangements for the care 
of the emigrants on the ships which he sent out 
is extolled in the evidence appended to Buller's 

The emigration from the United Kingdom to 
British North America, during the twenty years 
prior to Lord Durham's mission, was pre-eminently 
the outcome of bitter poverty and distress. The 
poor in their misery were anxious to emigrate, 
their better circumstanced fellow countrymen were 
anxious to help them, emigration was generally 
recognized as the true remedy for a great and 
pressing evil, and British North America, though 
far away in the absence of steam, was near as com- 
pared with Australia. Given the most destitute 
of emigrants, given the desire to put no restric- 
tion on their emigration, given a British territory 
not as distant as some other parts of the British 
dominions, where there was unbounded room for 
British immigrants, and where State policy made 
British immigration especially desirable ; given 
again a time when modern appliances were un- 
known, and views of life were less enlightened than 
our own ; there is then no room for wonder that the 

1352-1 O 


emigrants took with them on the middle passage, 
as Lord Durham termed it l (ii. 253), and to the 
other side, hardship and suffering which reached 
its climax when the emigrant ships brought cholera 
from England in 1832. As far back as 1819 a 
Quebec Emigrants' Society had been formed for 
the relief of emigrants on arrival ; from time to 
time the Quebec Legislature voted money for the 
same purpose ; and in 1832, more especially, two 
important Acts were passed. One was a Quaran- 
tine Act, being 'An Act to establish Boards of 
Health within this province and to enforce an 
effectual system of quarantine '. It was an Act 
consisting of forty sections, but, in accordance 
with a most mischievous practice of passing tem- 
porary laws which the Assembly of Lower Canada 
had adopted in its crusade against the Govern- 
ment, it was only passed in the first instance for 
one year, becoming law on the 25th of February 

1832, and remaining in force till the 1st of February 

1833. It was passed in consequence of a warning 
from the Imperial Government that cholera had 
reached England, and would probably pass on to 
Canada; and under its provisions a quarantine 
station was established at Grosse Isle, rather more 
than thirty miles below the port of Quebec. It 
was passed none too soon. In June an emigrant 
ship brought the cholera, which caused terrible 
mortality, 2 and supplied a fresh and not wholly 

1 The actual words are, ' the yet unhealthy mid-passage.' 

' On June 8 it declared itself in Quebec, and the following day at 
Montreal. An almost decimation of the inhabitants of both cities took 
place before it ceased its ravages.' From ' Remarks on the Quarantine 
Station, Grosse Isle, from its establishment in 1832, by Sir John Doralt, 


unreasoning grievance against England among the 
French Canadians, in that emigration from England 
had brought death to Canada. 

The second Act was ' An Act to create a fund 
for defraying the expense of providing medical 
assistance for sick emigrants and of enabling 
indigent persons of that description to proceed to 
the place of their destination '. This Act again was 
a temporary Act, expiring on the 1st of May 1834, 1 
and, like the Quarantine Act, had been suggested 
by the Imperial Government. It levied a tax on 
immigrants of 5s. a head, and the proceeds of the 
tax were divided into fourths, between the Quebec 
Emigrant Hospital, the Montreal General Hospital, 
the Emigrant Society at Quebec, and the Emigrant 
Society at Montreal, the main object being to for- 
ward destitute emigrants on arrival to their 
destination. It was a tax which Buller criticized 
on the score of equity. ' To tax the whole body of 
emigrants for the purpose of providing a remedy 

M.D.', included in Appendix A to Lord Durham's Report. This has 
not been reprinted. 

1 The inconvenience caused by this temporary legislation is shown 
by the following extract from Buller's Report (iii. 121) : ' In the year 
1837, when from the prevalence of the cholera the necessities of the 
emigrants were greatest, the societies in question had absolutely no 
public money at their disposal, on account of the expiration of the 
Provincial Act under which the fund had, till then, been raised.' An 
Act was passed in March 1834, prolonging the operation of the 1832 Act 
until May 1, 1836, but the prolonging Act was reserved for the King's 
pleasure, and did not receive the Royal assent till August, 1834, and 
the royal assent was not notified by proclamation of the Governor- 
General till January 1835, when the Act came into force. There were 
subsequent Acts which prolonged the original Act till 1839. As to Acts 
for the relief of emigrants in Lower Canada, see the General Report of the 
Assistant Commissioners of Municipal Enquiry, Appendix C, iii. 169, 170. 

O 2 


for evils which no adequate means have been 
adopted to prevent, and thus to compel the most 
prudent of that class to bear the burden of impru- 
dence or negligence in others, is surely a measure 
of very doubtful justice ' (Appendix B, iii. 122). 

That Durham and Buller did good service in 
calling attention to existing abuses in connexion 
with emigration from the United Kingdom to 
British North America, and in demanding more 
effective control by the Government, cannot foe 
doubted ; nor is there any doubt that their repre- 
sentations bore fruit, when in the following year 
the Board of Colonial Land and Emigration Com- 
missioners was created, and Lord John Russell 
formulated their instructions. But the main interest 
of the subject lies in comparing the views which are 
propounded in their reports with those which are 
set out in Elliot's Report of 1838. According to 
Elliot's Report, a strong distinction had been drawn 
by the Commission of 1831 between emigration to 
Australia and emigration to British North America, 
emigration to Australia requiring direct State aid, 
which was held not to be required in the case of 
emigration to British North America; and Elliot 
summed up the Government emigration policy, in 
regard to British North America, in the words 
' that although no direct aid is given to the resort 
of people to North America, every effort is made 
for the ease and safety of their transit, so that 
while the emigration to that quarter is left to flow 
from natural springs, no pains are spared to keep 
the channels free through which it takes its course V 

1 p. 10. 


The official view, in short, was that emigration 
to British North America need not be subsidized 
or stimulated, though the emigrants must be 
and actually were safeguarded. Durham, on the 
other hand, strongly contended that sufficient 
safeguards were not applied, and that the existing 
amount of Government control was not adequate. 
But, with Buller, he went further; he disputed 
the whole thesis that while the Wakefield system 
was applicable to Australia, it was not applicable 
to British North America, and that in the case 
of British North America Government interference 
should be strictly limited. To Durham and 
Buller emigration was only one part of a great 
scheme for colonizing the Empire ; and though 
they appreciated the difference between the 
conditions of the Australian colonies and those 
of British North America, yet the scheme which 
they contemplated was to be as far as possible 
uniform for the whole Empire, and in carrying it 
out the agency of the Imperial Government was 
to be omnipotent and omnipresent. ' There is not 
indeed any obvious reason why the Government 
should take less effectual measures to regulate 
emigration to the American than to the Australian 
colonies,' writes Buller (iii. 120), ' there may be a 
difference in the character and circumstances of 
emigration to the two regions, but none so great 
as to free the former from all interference, while 
the latter is in several cases to a great extent, and 
in one entirely, regulated by Government.' It will 
be borne in mind that the time was one when 
a strong body of public opinion was being formed 


antagonistic to State interference, and about to 
result in Free Trade ; that the great Poor Law 
Amendment Act of 1834 had been a practical pro- 
nouncement in favour of self-help and of restrict- 
ing aid from public funds ; that Durham, as the 
apostle of self-government for the colonies, seemed 
to be in harmony with the trend of opinion which 
made for laissez-faire in the case alike of individuals 
and of peoples. Yet it was at this time, and by 
this man, that the strongest possible pronounce- 
ment was made, in connexion with public lands in 
the colonies and emigration to 'the colonies, in 
favour of interference by the Government with the 
individual, and by the Imperial Government with 
the colonial community. The explanation is that 
Durham, when he recognized what he considered 
to be abuses, was not tied by a priori doctrines, 
and that he had above all a great and overpower- 
ing sense of the unity of the Empire. 


It has been seen that the funds derived from 
the tax upon wild lands, from the sale of lands, 
and from timber licences, were, according to 
Buller's scheme, to be applied partly to assisting 
and safeguarding emigration, and partly ' to such 
works as would improve the value of land and 
facilitate the progress of settlement. Of such 
works ', writes Buller, ' I may mention the con- 
struction of leading lines of road, the removal of 
obstructions in the navigation of rivers, and the 
formation of railroads and canals. In some of 


these works, the whole of the cost will be defrayed 
out of these funds ; in others, it will only be 
necessary to afford a limited amount of assistance 
in aid of works in which private capital may be 
invested, though not to a sufficient amount to 
complete the undertaking. Of the class in which 
only a partial assistance would be required are 
the railroads and canals, which have been pro- 
jected to connect the different colonies with each 
other ; or to improve existing or create new means 
of transport for passengers and merchandise to the 
Western States of the Union ; and to which the 
resources of the colonies are as yet unequal. Of 
these, I may mention the projected canal between 
the Bay of Fundy and the Baie Verte, referred to 
in the evidence of Mr. Mackay ; the canal con- 
necting the River Ottawa and Lake Huron by 
means of Lake Nipissing and French River, re- 
ferred to in the evidence of Mr. Shirreff ; a pro- 
jected railroad connecting Lake Ontario with Lake 
Huron ; and the railroad from Halifax to Quebec ' 
(iii. 116). It will be noted that Buller suggests that 
railroads and canals should be constructed, not so 
much directly by the State, as by supplementing 
and subsidizing private enterprise from Govern- 
ment funds. Such a course had been adopted in 
regard to the Welland Canal; and the Canadian 
Pacific Railway may be taken as one of the most 
striking of many instances in which private citizens 
have carried out great public enterprises in Canada 
with the aid of State subsidies. In this respect 
Canada differs from the self-governing dominions 
in Australasia, where the means of communication 


have been supplied almost entirely by the State. 
In Canada, for instance, the great railway systems 
of the Canadian Pacific, the Grand Trunk, and 
the Canadian Northern are all owned by private 
companies, though they have been largely aided 
and strongly backed by the Government. Of the 
four public works to which Buller referred as in 
contemplation, the two last have been carried out. 
Various railways connect Lake Ontario with Lake 
Huron, and the Intercolonial Railway links Halifax 
to Quebec. But the Baie Verte Canal has never 
been made, and the great, much-considered scheme 
of the Georgian Bay Canal is still for the future. 
Buller wrote of improving or creating means of 
transport for passengers and merchandise to the 
Western States of the Union, but he made no 
mention of the great North-West of Canada. Nor 
is there any mention of it in Lord Durham's report, 
for far-seeing as Lord Durham was, and great as 
was his confidence in the resources of the coming 
time, the future grain lands of the prairies were 
hidden from his eyes. 

For any empire, for any great territory within 
or without an empire, means of communication 
are all important ; but perhaps throughout the 
whole world, no land tells so well as Canada to 
what extent the life of a country and of its people 
is a question of communication. Nowhere have 
communications been more essential to national 
existence than in Canada ; nowhere has nature 
offered greater facilities for communication; no- 
where has man supplemented nature in this respect 
with more conspicuous courage and enterprise. 


Early in his Report Lord Durham, in a splendid 
passage, bears witness to Canada as he saw it, 
recounting that ' trade with other continents is 
favoured by the possession of a large number of safe 
and spacious harbours ; long, deep, and numerous 
rivers, and vast inland seas, supply the means 
of easy intercourse ; and the structure of the 
country generally affords the utmost facility for 
every species of communication by land ' (ii. 12, 13). 
Towards the end of his Report he lays down, as 
beyond dispute, that ' the great discoveries of 
modem art, which have throughout the world, 
and nowhere more than in America, entirely 
altered the character and the channels of com- 
munication between distant countries, will bring 
all the North American colonies into constant and 
speedy intercourse with each other. The success 
of the great experiment of steam navigation across 
the Atlantic opens a prospect of a speedy com- 
munication with Europe, which will materially 
affect the future state of all these provinces ' ; 
and he prophesies that with the construction of 
a railway from Halifax to Quebec, and with 
steamers running across the Atlantic, ' the passage 
from Ireland to Quebec would be a matter of ten 
or twelve days, and Halifax would be the great 
port by which a large portion of the trade, and all 
the conveyance of passengers to the whole of 
British North America, would be carried on ' 
(ii. 316-19). 

The line of length in Canada, like the line of 
life, has been from east to west. ' The great 
natural channel of the St. Lawrence,' to use Lord 


Durham's words, runs south-west and north-east. 
While Canada belonged to France, the story of 
Canada, excluding Acadia and Hudson's Bay, was 
the story of the St. Lawrence, the story of a water- 
way, and that waterway ran in the main east and 
west. In later times expansion was still mainly 
east and west, still from one meridian of longitude 
to another, not from one parallel of latitude to 
another, although the fur traders roamed north 
and south as well. It was otherwise in the case of 
the United States. There the earlier settlement 
was for the most part north and south along the 
Atlantic seaboard ; and, when in the course of 
years settlement expanded inland to the west, the 
great river which was secured for the American 
Republic, the Mississippi, was a river which ran 
north and south, not east and west. 

By the severance of the United States from the 
British Empire, Canada gained a future as a 
nation ; but its national existence and its national 
growth became almost entirely a matter of longi- 
tudinal expansion, for the treaty of 1783 gave to 
the British provinces, which now form the Dominion 
of Canada, a southern boundary, which hemmed 
them in, and in a sense prolonged their line by 
making the length of habitable land before the 
North- West was opened up and known out of 
proportion to the breadth. The line was threatened 
at this point and at that, notably on the Maine 
boundary, by the unnatural results of the treaty 
of 1783, and communication became beyond all 
things vital to the existence of Canada. 

Further, the coming into being of the American 


boundary, with a not too friendly people on the 
other side, gave prominence to military considera- 
tions in the matter of Canadian lines of communica- 
tion. Military men desired to impede rather than 
to promote communications between Canada and 
the United States, and within Canada they desired 
to construct communications as far removed as 
possible from the frontier. It was for military, 
not, as Lord Durham read the history, 1 for political 
reasons, that it was attempted, after the war of 
1812, to prohibit settlement and keep a belt of 
bush between Canada and the United States on 
the south side of the St. Lawrence ; and the con- 
struction of the Rideau Canal was entirely due to 
the soldiers' wish to have water communication, 
for military purposes, between Montreal and 
Lake Ontario, beyond striking distance from the 
American frontier. In the first of these two cases, 
after the government reversed its policy, we find 
a military man expressing regret that the bush was 
allowed to be cut down in these frontier districts 
and settlement to be promoted ; while correspon- 
dence which has been published on the subject of 
the beginnings of the Rideau Canal, 2 shows that 
that work was so entirely the outcome of military 
considerations, that Colonel By 3 the skilful 
engineer who carried out the undertaking, 
himself a soldier, with difficulty induced the 
Government to consent to making the canal 
and its locks large enough for commercial as well 
as for military purposes. A prize essay on the 

1 See the Report, ii. 65, and note, and below, p. 278. 

5 See the Report on the Canadian Archives for 1890, Appendix P. 


canals of Canada, by Mr. Keefer, published in 
1850, comments severely upon the military canals 
in Canada, and speaks of * those unfortunate 
military considerations which have ever been a 
bar to our advancement ' ; 1 but it was under a 
soldier governor, and in time of war, that the 
canals of Canada began; and Canada has owed 
not a little to the military instinct which has 
sought for lines of communication remote from 
the international boundary. 

Coming down to later times, the confederation 
of Canada was more than anything else a ques- 
tion of communication. The 145th section of the 
British North America Act provided that, 'Inas- 
much as the provinces of Canada, Nova Scotia, 
and New Brunswick have joined in a declaration 
that the construction of the Intercolonial Railway 
is essential to the consolidation of the union of 
British North America, and to the assent thereto 
of Nova Scotia and New Brunswick,' a railway 
connecting the river St. Lawrence with the city of 
Halifax should be begun within six months of the 
date of union ; and as this Intercolonial Railway, 
the railway which Lord Durham foreshadowed, 
was an essential condition to the union of the 
maritime provinces with Canada, so the con- 
sideration for which in 1871 British Columbia 
joined the Dominion, was that a railway linking 
that province with Eastern Canada should be 
begun within two years, and completed within 
ten years from the date when the province entered 

1 Prize Essay : The Canals of Canada, by Thos. C. Keefer, Civil 
Engineer, Toronto, 1850. 


the Union. In 1885, a little later than the pro- 
mised time, the Canadian Pacific Railway spanned 
the continent, and to a greater extent than any 
other single work of man in any part of the world 
contributed to the making of a nation. 

Although airships have been invented, com- 
munication has so far been carried on either by 
water or by land. Nature gives communication 
by water, though there are usually flaws in the 
connexion which need to be remedied by the handi- 
work of man. By land, at best, she does not pro- 
hibit it. Lord Durham, in the passage which has 
been quoted above, notes that in Canada ' the 
structure of the country generally affords the 
utmost facility for every species of communica- 
tion by land ' ; and his statement holds true, 
although, when he made it, he had in view at most 
but half the continent. Stupendous as was the 
work of carrying the first railway through such 
a desert as lies on the north shore of Lake Supe- 
rior, the prairies beyond are formed for roads 
and railways, and the Rocky Mountains and the 
Selkirks were traversed without burrowing under- 
ground as in the Alps. From Montreal to Van- 
couver the Canadian Pacific Railway runs for 
2,900 miles; along its whole course there is still 
no St. Gothard or Simplon tunnel, and but few 
tunnels, as at Field, of appreciable length. 

In the matter of waterways Nature has been 
wonderfully bountiful to Canada. It would be 
difficult to find a parallel in other parts of the 
world, if account is taken both of inland waters 
and of outlet to the sea. This is perhaps the 


greatest advantage that Canada possesses, as com- 
pared with the other self-governing dominions of 
the King. There is continuous water communica- 
tion for 2,200 miles from the Straits of Belle Isle 
to Port Arthur at the western end of Lake Superior. 
The difference in level between the sea and Lake 
Superior is about 600 feet. Along this great water- 
way there are some 73 miles of canal ; and between 
Montreal at the head of ocean navigation, 986 
miles from the Straits of Belle Isle, and Lake 
Superior, there are 48 locks. The beginning of 
Canadian canals was in the years 1779-83, years 
of the War of American Independence, when 
General Haldimand governed Canada. They were 
constructed for military purposes, and consisted of 
short cuts with locks on the St. Lawrence above 
Montreal, between Lakes St. Louis and St. Francis, 
at the Cascades, the Cedars, and Coteau du Lac, 
which were subsequently merged in the Beau- 
harnois Canal. In 1797-8 some kind of canal 
appears to have been made by the North- West 
Company on the Canadian side of the Sault St. 
Marie. The Lachine Canal, which, with a length 
of 8J miles and five locks, carries vessels past the 
Lachine rapids and across the southern part of the 
Island of Montreal, was early projected ; and after 
the second American war, in 1815, the Quebec 
Legislature, on the suggestion of the Governor, 
Sir George Prevost, passed an Act appropriating 
a sum of money to its construction. The canal, 
however, was not completed till 1824, at a cost of 
over 107,000, and the first ships went through it 
in 1825. Of the other canals which were in exis- 


tence in Lord Durham's time, the Rideau Canal 
from Ottawa to Kingston,- 126 miles in length, 
a military w rk constructed entirely at the expense 
of the Imperial Government, was begun in 1826 
and opened in 1832 ; while the Welland Canal, 
27 miles long, correcting the break in navigation 
caused by the Falls of Niagara, and therefore of 
the utmost importance to Canadian waterborne 
trade, Chough begun before the Rideau Canal, was 
not available for traffic till 1833. In 1834 the Corn- 
wall Canal, to which Lord Durham refers, and 
which rectifies the navigation of the St. Lawrence 
past the Long Sault Rapids, was begun, but it 
was not opened for traffic till 1843. One of the 
early projects in connexion with inland navigation 
in Canada was the improvement of the waterway 
of the Richelieu River, connecting the St. Lawrence 
with Lake Champlain. In 1818 an Act was passed 
in Lower Canada, empowering a company to con- 
struct the Chambly Canal on the line of this river ; 
but it was not until 1843 that, after various vicissi- 
tudes, the canal was opened, having a length of 
12 miles with 9 locks. 1 Meanwhile, the Richelieu 
River had been connected with the St. Lawrence 
over against Montreal by a little railway of 15 miles 
in length, running from La Prairie to St. John's 
on the Richelieu, above the Chambly Rapids. 
This was the line to which Lord Durham refers in 
his Report (ii. 212-13) as the 'one railroad in all 

1 One of the best accounts of the Canadian canals up to the date of 
the report is the Historical Sketch of the Canals of Canada, given in 
the report of the Canal Commission of 1871, Canadian Sessional Papers, 
1871, No. 54. 


British America ', and it had only been opened for 
locomotive traction in 1837. 

As compared with the great canals and railways 
which throughout Canada, as Canada was in Lord 
Durham's time, make the transit of men and 
merchandise sure and speedy, and which beyond 
the limits of his horizon are making a new world 
in the West and North- West, carrying communica- 
tions to the northern as well as to the western seas, 
the public works of Canada in Lord Durham's day 
appear puny and insignificant. But not a little 
had been done, and out of all comparison with the 
accomplished facts was the recognition of what 
was coming in the future. On the 13th of July, 
1826, Colonel By, when contending for larger 
dimensions in the scheme of the Rideau Canal, 
wrote : * The number of the steamboats now build- 
ing on the banks of the St. Lawrence is one of the 
great proofs of the increasing trade and prosperity 
of this country.' * Lord Durham notes how the 
province of Upper Canada had become involved in 
financial difficulties through entering on a bold 
policy of public works, and it has been seen that 
the first vessel to cross the Atlantic by the help of 
steam alone had been built in and started from 
Canada. In spite of political troubles and antago- 
nisms, possibly to some extent because of them, 
Canada was instinct with the sense of possibilities, 
and Lord Durham shared it to the full. It is the 
common failing of political thinkers and writers 
to devote their whole attention to laws and con- 
stitutions, and what is called political science, and 

1 Report on Canadian Archives for 1890, Appendix D. 


to overlook the tremendous effect which science in 
the stricter sense, invention, and engineering, has 
had and will have in an increasing degree upon 
politics and history. It was one of Lord Durham's 
supreme merits that, politician as he was, and 
devoted to constitutional reform, he appreciated 
public works present or future at their full value, 
and appreciated them not merely for their direct 
material results, but also, and in a greater degree, 
because of their bearing on politics. They appealed 
to his constructive mind as being communications, 
as making divided parts into one, as making small 
things into great, as linking one home to another, 
one little town to another little town, one pro- 
vince to another, one united group of provinces 
to the mother country. He notes as one among 
various objections to the system of clergy reserves, 
that they were an obstacle to communication and 
to continuity of settlement (ii. 220-2). Here are 
words in which he condemns the policy of the 
Legislature of Lower Canada (ii. 99-100) : ' While 
the Assembly was wasting the surplus revenues of 
the Province in jobs for the increase of patronage, 
and in petty peddling in parochial business, it left 
untouched those vast and easy means of com- 
munication which deserved, and would have repaid, 
the application of the provincial revenues. The 
state of New York made its own St. Lawrence 
from Lake Erie to the Hudson, while the Govern- 
ment of Canada could not achieve, or even attempt, 
the few miles of canal and dredging, which would 
have rendered its mighty rivers navigable almost 
to their sources.' And here are words which show 

1352-1 P 


how well he understood the bearing of public 
works on politics, and how he looked to roads 
and railways to help on confederation : ' The 
completion of any satisfactory communication 
between Halifax and Quebec would, in fact, pro- 
duce relations between these Provinces that would 
render a general union absolutely necessary ' 
(ii. 318). 

It has been noted that Lord Durham's horizon 
did not include the North- West and beyond, but 
assuredly if ever a man deserved to see what our 
eyes have seen in Canada, a dominion from sea to 
sea as the direct result of railways, it was the man 
who could feel as he felt, and write as he wrote, 
with regard to the importance of means of com- 


How close was the connexion in Lord Durham's 
mind between means of communication and local 
government may be seen from the Commission 
which he issued to Buller, authorizing an inquiry 
into the municipal institutions of Lower Canada. 
The Commission recites, ' Whereas it is highly 
expedient and desirable that the counties, cities, 
towns, parishes, and townships in our province of 
Lower Canada should respectively enjoy as ex- 
tensive a control as may be consistent with their 
own improvement, and with the general welfare 
of our said province, over all matters and things 
of a local nature, to the end that intercourse may 
be facilitated, industry promoted, crime repressed, 
education appreciated, and true liberty under- 


stood and advanced.' The first place among the 
objects for which local self-government should be 
given is assigned to facilitating intercourse ; and 
similarly Charles Buller, in his letter of instruc- 
tions to the Assistant Commissioners of Municipal 
Inquiry, places in the forefront ' increased facilities 
of internal communication '. ' You will inquire 
and report about the provision which has been 
made for the formation and maintenance of those 
internal communications, which, as they concern 
only local divisions, can never be the objects of 
interest to a central government. The system by 
which the roads and bridges of the province have 
been managed will be one of the first and most 
important subjects of investigation.' 

The General Report of the Assistant Commis- 
sioners of Municipal Inquiry is of great value for 
students of Canadian history, embracing as it 
does a large variety of subjects, and illustrating, 
for instance, such anomalies as had been caused 
by the mischievous practice of temporary legisla- 
tion, which the Quebec Assembly had reduced to 
a fine art. The Report, however, deals with Lower 
Canada only, and in their Preliminary Report the 
Commissioners state that they had been compelled 
to modify their plan of investigation, and curtail 
their labours, by ' events untoward for the settle- 
ment of these colonies ' (Appendix C, iii. 138), in 
other words, by Lord Durham's resignation. The 
Commission authorizing the inquiry is dated the 
23rd of August 1838, the General Report is dated 
the 14th of November 1838, and from what Lord 
Durham says (ii. 113), it is clear that he had not 



received the Assistant Commissioners' Report, when 
lie wrote his own. 

In their Preliminary Report the Assistant Com- 
missioners record that ' there is no such thing 
as systematized local self-government in Lower 
Canada' (Appendix C, iii. 139) ; and the paragraph 
in their General Report, headed ' Existing Means 
for Local Self-Go vernment in Lower Canada', be- 
gins with the statement that ' The only machinery 
for the working of a plan of municipal government 
in the province is to be found under the operation 
of the road law and collateral enactments ' (Appen- 
dix C, iii. 227). In reference to the same province, 
Lord Durham writes of ' the utter want of muni- 
cipal institutions giving the people any control 
over their local affairs ' (ii. 113). Municipal corpora- 
tions had come into existence in Quebec and 
Montreal in 1832, in pursuance of Acts passed in 
the previous year, but they went out of existence 
again in 1836, in consequence of the temporary 
Acts under which they had been created not 
being renewed by the cross-grained Assembly of 
Lower Canada; and Lord Durham tells us, that 
he found it necessary to organize police forces for 
the two cities (ii. 132). Throughout the country, 
under the old French regime, the militia had been, 
in Lord Durham's words, ' so constituted and used, 
as partially to supply the want of better civil 
institutions ' (ii. 98), but the force was now prac- 
tically annihilated. In short, in Lower Canada, in 
both town and country, there was administrative 

On the subject of local government in Upper 


Canada Lord Durham has little to say ; though, in 
the part of his Report which refers to that province, 
he notes that ' there is no adequate system of local 
assessment to improve the means of communica- 
tion ' (ii. 184) ; and on the other hand, that ' the 
Province has already been fortunately obliged to 
throw the whole support of the few and imperfect 
local works, which are carried on in different parts 
of the Province, on local assessments ' (ii. 190). 
Buller, in his instructions to the Assistant Com- 
missioners, gives Upper Canada as an instance of 
a country in which ' a very perfect municipal 
machinery exists without being rendered avail- 
able for the most important municipal purposes ' 
(Appendix C, iii. 136) ; and from a Report which 
was supplied to Poulett Thomson in January 
1840, and forwarded by him to Lord John Russell, 1 
it appears that, while the country townships of 
Upper Canada had their local machinery and 
elected their officers, they had no power of raising 
money for local improvements. On the other 
hand, the same Report states that ' Nearly all 
the towns in Upper Canada have obtained corpo- 
rate powers, namely Toronto, Kingston, Hamilton, 
Cobourg, Niagara, Prescott, Cornwall, and London'. 
Toronto had been incorporated in 1834, and with 
its incorporation regained its original name, and 
discarded the name of York which it had borne 
since 1793. The first Mayor of Toronto, elected 

1 Report by Captain Pringle on Land Tax, Roads, and Municipal 
Institutions, dated Toronto, January 20, 1840: House of Commons 
Paper, 147, March 23, 1840. Copies or Extracts of Correspondence 
relative to the Re-union of the Provinces of Upper and Lower Canada, 
p. 41. 


by his fellow citizens, was William Lyon Mac- 

Bearing in mind that what is stated in Lord 
Durham's Report and its Appendixes on the sub- 
ject of municipalities and local administration has 
special reference to Lower Canada, Lord Durham's 
views on the subject will be best appreciated, by 
giving what are more or less obvious answers to 
the question, Why did he set so much store by 
municipal institutions and local self-government ? 
The first and most obvious answer is, that the want 
of such institutions was so painfully apparent ; 
but it is unnecessary to labour this point, or to 
multiply quotations showing how great and press- 
ing was the actual need for adequate municipal 
and local administration in Lower Canada; and 
Lord Durham, while he lost no time in providing 
for security of life and property at Quebec and 
Montreal, had views beyond merely meeting the 
wants of the moment. 

He was a strong Liberal, he was a strong Im- 
perialist, and he had an eminently constructive 
mind. From all these points of view he was 
concerned to endow Canada especially French 
Canada with a proper system of municipal and 
local institutions. It has been already noted that 
municipal reform was one of the planks in the 
Whig programme, and in 1835 Lord Melbourne's 
Government had carried the celebrated Municipal 
Corporations Act. Lord Durham was not a 
member of the Government at the time, but he 
was a leading member of the party ; and it may 
well be believed that he was in full sympathy with 


the movement for giving self-government to the 
great cities of England, and wished to create 
similar institutions in Canada. But even more as 
an Imperialist than as a Liberal, he was anxious 
to further the policy of local self-government in 
Lower Canada, for he wished to anglicize Lower 
Canada, and he regarded local and municipal 
institutions as peculiarly Anglo-Saxon. ' Lower 
Canada remains without municipal institutions of 
local self-government, which are the foundations of 
Anglo-Saxon freedom and civilization ' (ii. 98-9) ; 
and again, referring to the United States, ' In the 
greater part of the States to which I refer, the 
want of means at the disposal of the central 
executive is amply supplied by the efficiency of 
the municipal institutions ; and even where these 
are wanting, or imperfect, the energy and self- 
governing habits of an Anglo-Saxon population 
enable it to combine whenever a necessity arises. 
But the French population of Lower Canada 
possesses neither such institutions, nor such a 
character. Accustomed to rely entirely on the 
government, it has no power of doing anything 
for itself, much less of aiding the central authority ' 
(ii. 112-13). Lord Durham's contention was in 
effect, that under the old French regime local 
liberties and responsibilities had been unknown ; 
that, when Great Britain took over French Canada, 
French centralization and despotism had been 
abolished without substituting for it Anglo-Saxon 
municipal and local institutions; and that French 
Canada could only be made British by being given 
these liberties, while conversely the liberties could 


only be appreciated and put to proper use, if 
French Canada were anglicized. A similar train 
of reasoning will be found in the Report of the 
Assistant Commissioners. ' The simple question at 
issue is, whether the province shall remain French, 
or stand still until pushed forward by the aggres- 
sive movements of the United States, or become 
English in the progressive and prosperous action, 
as well as in the outward and visible character of 
its institutions ' (iii. 230). 

Apart from his desire to convert Lower Canada 
into a British province, Lord Durham, as a con- 
structive statesman, as a man who wished to 
create and to build up, attached the greatest 
importance to municipal institutions. He regarded, 
and rightly regarded, municipal and parish work 
as a training ground for higher politics, and he 
criticized the action of the British Government in 
giving to the people of Lower Canada representa- 
tive government without at the same time giving 
them municipal institutions. ' If the wise example 
of those countries in which a free representative 
government has alone worked well, had been in all 
respects followed in Lower Canada, care would 
have been taken that, at the same time that 
a Parliamentary system, based on a very extended 
suffrage, was introduced into the country, the 
people should have been entrusted with a com- 
plete control over their own local affairs, and been 
trained for taking their part in the concerns of 
the Province, by their experience in the manage- 
ment of that local business which was most in- 
teresting and most easily intelligible to them. But 


the inhabitants of Lower Canada were unhappily 
initiated into self-government at exactly the wrong 
end, and those who were not entrusted with the 
management of a parish, were enabled, by their 
votes, to influence the destinies of a State ' (ii. 113). 
Holding municipal institutions to be an integral 
part of the structure of a well-organized com- 
munity, he embodied in his own scheme for the 
union of the two Canadas ' a plan of local govern- 
ment by elective bodies subordinate to the General 
Legislature ' (ii. 324) ; and, in discussing the possi- 
bility of a union of the whole of the British North 
American provinces,he expressed his opinion that the 
formation of municipal bodies would be 'an essential 
part of any durable and complete Union ' (ii. 322). 
But again, it was not only as a Liberal Imperia- 
list, intent on building up a community, that Lord 
Durham expressed this opinion and advocated so 
strongly municipal institutions. He advocated 
them also as what might be styled a Conservative 
reformer ; for, as has been pointed out already > 
he regarded the creation of municipal and local 
institutions as a necessary check upon the general 
legislature which he proposed to call into being, 
and to which he intended to entrust the powers" of 
responsible government ; and he took this view 
very especially because, having under his eyes the 
abuses of which the Quebec Assembly had been 
guilty, he wished to remove from the General 
Legislature of the future the opportunities for local 
jobbery. It was with the same object that he laid 
down that money votes should be initiated only 
by the ministers of the Crown. How right he was 


in this view, and how essential it was to create 
municipal machinery for the purpose, is shown 
by the dispatch in which, at the end of 1839, 
his successor, Poulett Thomson, afterwards Lord 
Sydenham, made his recommendations to Lord 
John Russell on the subject of the coming Union 
Bill. He wrote that : 

' One of the most important provisions in the 
plan proposed last session, one on which the Earl 
of Durham has justly laid the greatest stress, and 
of which I find the strongest approbation expressed 
in the Canadas, is that which restricts the initiative 
of money votes in the House of Assembly to the 
Government, and which is calculated to put an end 
to the disgraceful system of local jobbing for Parlia- 
mentary grants, which has prevailed in both pro- 
vinces. But if this provision be adhered to 
and without it I should think the Bill of little 
comparative value it is absolutely necessary to 
provide machinery by which local taxation can 
be raised for local purposes. Thus the establish- 
ment of municipal institutions becomes a necessary 
part of the Union Bill.' 1 

A man who was, as Lord Durham was, a heart- 
whole believer in responsible government, but who 
was, as Lord Durham was not, purely a political 
theorist, might well have argued, Give the people 
the right to govern themselves, and they will at 
once see the necessity of having local institutions, 
and forthwith call them into existence. Lord 
Durham thought otherwise, for his political doc- 
trines were leavened with common sense. It was 

1 House of Commons Paper, 147, March 23, 1840. Copies or Extracts 
of Correspondence relative to the Re-union of the Provinces of t'pjx-r 
and Lower Canada, p. 31. 


not that he doubted whether the popular Legis- 
latures, if left to themselves, would do the right 
thing in the matter of local institutions ; he was 
quite certain that at the outset they would not, 
for he recognized the limitations and shortcomings 
of democracy, in small, untrained communities. 
And being thus persuaded in his own mind, he 
would have none of the ordinary Whig platitudes 
as to trusting the people, but held it to be incum- 
bent upon the Imperial Government to withhold 
from the Colonial Legislatures the power of mischief. 

4 The establishment of a good system of muni- 
cipal institutions throughout these provinces is 
a matter of vital importance. A general legis- 
lature, which manages the private business of 
every parish, in addition to the common business 
of the country, wields a power which no single 
body, however popular in its constitution, ought to 
have. ... It is in vain to expect that this sacrifice 
of power will be voluntarily made by any repre- 
sentative body. The establishment of municipal 
institutions for the whole country should be made 
a part of every colonial constitution ; and the 
prerogative of the Crown should be constantly 
interposed to check any encroachment on the 
functions of the local bodies, until the people 
should become alive, as most assuredly they 
almost immediately would be, to the necessity of 
protecting their local privileges ' (ii. 287). 

That his views on this point were accurate and 
true has been shown by subsequent colonial his- 
tory, 1 as it had already in effect been proved by 

1 Reference should be made to the second edition of Merivale's 
Lectures on Colonization and Colonies, Appendix to Lecture XXII, 
pp. 651-4. See above, pp. 151-2 and note, and below, pp. 297-8. 


the history of Lower Canada ; for it was due to the 
representative Legislature of Quebec, not to any 
want of goodwill on the part of the Imperial 
Government, that municipal institutions were not 
existing and flourishing in Lower Canada. Lord 
Durham blamed the Home Government for not 
having insisted on such institutions, for not having 
brought them into being at the time when repre- 
sentative government was given to the province 
in 1791, and it is a little difficult to decide how 
far this criticism was well founded. He does not 
notice that the Quebec Act of 1774, which gave 
to the province of Quebec, as it then was, a nomi- 
nated Legislative Council, while withholding from 
it the power of taxation, gave it explicitly full 
powers to authorize towns and districts to levy 
local rates ' for the purpose of making roads, 
erecting and repairing public buildings, or for any 
other purpose respecting the local convenience and 
economy of such town or district V In 1786 the 
magistrates of Cataraqui, afterwards Kingston, in 
what was a few years later the province of Upper 
Canada, represented that ' the election or appoint- 
ment of proper officers in the several townships to 
see that the necessary roads be opened and kept 
in proper repair, we conceive, would be of great 
utility, by facilitating the communication with all 
parts of the settlement ' ; 2 and though the con- 
stitutional Act of 1791 was silent on the subject of 

1 Section XIII. 

1 See Shortt and Doughty, Documents relating to the Constitutional 
History of Canada, p. 643. The note at the bottom of the page is, ' This 
is the beginning of the agitation in the western settlements for the 
introduction of municipal government.' 


municipal institutions, as the Union Act of 1840, 
save in the matter of authorizing the constitution 
of townships, 1 was silent also, there was nothing 
to forbid the Legislatures of the two provinces 
from inaugurating municipal institutions, and as 
a matter of fact, in Upper Canada, the machinery 
of local administration was actually brought into 

But Lord Durham, it must be repeated, was not 
satisfied with permissive legislation. Municipal in- 
stitutions were with him a vital necessity. It was 
his creed that a community should be given self- 
government in balanced proportions ; that as 
the Act of 1791 erred in granting representative 
institutions without responsible government, so it 
erred in granting those institutions to the whole 
province, without at the same time granting them 
within defined limits to the towns and districts of 
the province. For the absence of local liberties, 
which meant local responsibilities, he blamed, 
rightly or wrongly, the Imperial Government. 
Possibly he overlooked the fact that the legis- 
lators of 1791 had not at their command the 
valuable experience in colonial matters which since 
that date had been painfully accumulated; and 
possibly too he did not sufficiently bear in mind 
the difficulty of passing a Bill, overloaded with 
detail, through the House of Commons. 

But it should be noted that his view, that the 
Home Government had been remiss in not estab- 
lishing municipal institutions in the British North 
American provinces, was shared by the Assistant 

1 Section LVIII. 


Commissioners of Municipal Inquiry, and also by 
Charles Buller. The former wrote of Lower Canada 
' that although long under the rule of England, 
the province has participated far too sparingly 
in the benefits of sound British institutions ' 
(Appendix C, iii. 139) ; while Nova Scotia, that 
most British province, is described by Buller as a 
country from whose institutions ' every vestige 
of the municipal system of the old colonies was 
jealously excluded ' (Appendix B, iii. 76). 

In the administration of their Empire, it was the 
policy of the Romans to respect municipal liberties, 
and encourage municipal life. They did so, it 
would seem, partly because the towns were con- 
venient units of administration, and partly in 
order to provide their subjects with a substitute 
for political freedom and national life. At their 
best and their best was very good the Romans 
were despots ; they always had in mind the maxim 
Divide et Impera ; they did not regard municipali- 
ties either as a training ground for higher freedom, 
or as an integral part of an edifice of constitutional 
government ; least of all did they contemplate in 
them a necessary check upon the central authority. 
If what Lord Durham wrote in his Report upon 
the subject of local self-government is contrasted 
with what the historians tell us in this regard 
of Roman provincial administration, and if it is 
borne in mind that in the matter of the municipia 
the Romans came nearest to encouraging freedom, 
we can form some fair estimate of the extent to 
which British Imperialism is broader than the 
Imperialism of Rome. 


The General Report of the Assistant Commis- 
sioners of Municipal Inquiry contains a good deal 
of matter relating to the administration of justice 
in Lower Canada. To this subject Lord Durham 
devoted several pages of his Report, commenting 
severely upon/ ' the mischievous results prominently 
exhibited in the provision which the Government 
of Lower Canada makes for the first want of 
a people, the efficient administration of justice ' 
(ii. 116). His criticisms are almost entirely con- 
fined to the case of Lower Canada, where difference 
of race, law, and custom had led to complica- 
tion and confusion ; and only one paragraph, on 
pp. 182-3, refers to administration of justice in 
the Upper Province. 

The British Government had begun by intro- 
ducing, or trying to introduce, into the Province of 
Quebec the law of England, both in criminal and 
in civil matters. By the terms of the Royal Pro- 
clamation of 1763, the Governor in Council was 
empowered to constitute Courts of Justice, ' for 
hearing and determining all causes, as well criminal 
as civil, according to law and equity, and as near as 
may be agreeable to the laws of England.' On this 
basis, in September 1764, Governor Murray passed 
an ordinance establishing a superior Court of Judi- 
cature or Court of King's Bench, and an inferior 
Court of Judicature, or Court of Common Pleas, 
and introducing trial by jury, Justices of the Peace, 
and Quarter Sessions. The Quebec Act of 1774, 
while continuing the law of England in criminal 


matters, restored as a whole 1 French law and 
custom in civil matters, thereby abolishing in 
civil cases trial by jury; and this compromise 
in the main prevailed down to the date at which 
Lord Durham wrote. It is obvious that under the 
circumstances some confusion was inevitable, and 
that technical difficulties must have arisen in the 
endeavour to deal fairly by two races with separate 
customs and traditions in one province ; but the 
interesting point to note is how in the matter of 
administration of justice, as in regard to other 
subjects dealt with in his report, Lord Durham 
held the Imperial Government responsible. The 
Imperial Government, and the Governors who were 
sent to Canada, had no other object or desire in 
connexion with the administration of justice than 
to give to the province of Lower Canada the laws 
and procedure which the time and place seemed to 
demand. They were not the obstacle to adequate 
and efficient administration of justice ; the blame 
rested with the Quebec Legislature ; but Lord 
Durham censured the Home Government at once 
for not giving larger powers to the Legislature, and 
for not insisting upon that Legislature doing its 
duty. Presumably he would have contended that, 
had responsible government been in existence, 
little or no blame would have attached to the 
authorities in England for shortcomings in adminis- 
tration of justice, or in any other matter ; but that, 
inasmuch as under the constitution of 1791 the 
ultimate responsibility still remained with the 

1 Section IX excepted lands granted or to be granted in free and 
common soccage. See what Lord Durham says on pp. 69 and 116 
(vol. ii) of the Report. 


Imperial Government, that Government was to 
blame in giving so much latitude to the representa- 
tive assembly in the province, and not at the same 
time ensuring that the French Canadian legislators 
passed the measures which were obviously re- 
quired for the good of the community. From the 
time of Sir James Craig the Quebec Legislature 
had instituted a regular crusade against the 
judges. Jonathan Sewell, who was appointed 
Chief Justice of Lower Canada in 1808, and who 
only retired at the time of Lord Durham's Mission, 
had been the object of special hostility, but other 
judges also had been arraigned one after another 
in spiteful and vindictive fashion. One reason 
probably was that the judges were mainly British, 
and in earlier days, at any rate, imported from 
outside, not always with much regard to suit- 
ability for their work. Another reason was that 
they stood rather especially for independence of 
the votes of the popular assembly ; while a third 
and potent reason was that they were not held 
aloof from politics. In the early stages of a colony, 
a man who has been selected to hold the post of 
Chief Justice, may well, by his training and stand- 
ing, be a valuable public asset to the Government 
and to the community, apart from his judicial 
functions ; and a good case may be made for not ex- 
cluding him from the advisory council or the Legis- 
lature, provided that he is not subject to popular 
election. Even'at the present day, in some Crown 
Colonies, the Chief Justice is a member of the 
Executive Council, or of the Legislative Council, or 
of both. Sewell was Speaker of the Legislative 

1352-1 O 


Council in Lower Canada, as Beverley Robinson 
was of the Council in the Upper Province, and the 
stronger and more efficient the particular judge 
was, the more he tended to attract the opposition 
of the popular party. In 1831 Lord Goderich, as 
Secretary of State, instructed the Governor ' to com- 
municate to the Legislative Council and Assembly 
His Majesty's settled purpose to nominate on no 
future occasion a judge either as a member of the 
Executive or Legislative Council of the Province ', 
with one exception, that exception being the Chief 
Justice of Lower Canada, whose presence in the 
Legislative Council was thought advisable in con- 
nexion with legislation, but who was to be in- 
structed to hold aloof from all party proceedings. 1 
Lord Goderich, at the same time and in the same 
dispatch, proposed that, as in England so in Lower 
Canada, the judges should be given by Act of the 
Legislature permanent salaries and complete inde- 
pendence pending good behaviour both of the 
Royal pleasure and of the popular assembly. But 
independence of the judges was abominable to the 
Quebec Assembly, 2 and the question was still out- 
standing at the time of Lord Durham's Mission, 
with the result that one of his recommendations 
was (ii. 327) that ' the independence of the Judges 
should be secured, by giving them the same 
tenure of office and security of income as exist 
in England '. 

' See Christie, vol. iii, p. 366, and see above, p. 59. 

2 See ii. 88 of the Report, in which Lord Durham gives an instance of 
the Quebec Legislature having resort to 'tacking', in order to defeat 
legislation for securing the independence of the judges. 


It is very noteworthy in the history of Canada, 
how anxious the Imperial Government and the 
Colonial Ministers were to reproduce in Canada 
the conditions which prevailed in England, in the 
honest belief that what suited England must suit 
Canada ; whereas it was inevitable that much that 
was suitable and congenial to an old and purely 
British country was not adapted to a new land in 
which a large proportion of the inhabitants were 
not British. Thus provision was made in the Con- 
stitutional Act of 1791 for enabling the Crown to 
connect hereditary titles of honour with member- 
ship of the Legislative Council, and the correspon- 
dence which preceded the passing of the Act showed 
that the Government would have desired to go 
farther in the direction of giving distinction to 
members of the Upper Chamber, and introducing 
the hereditary principle ; but the man on the spot, 
the experienced Governor, Lord Dorchester, dis- 
couraged the attempt to reproduce in one form or 
another a House of Lords. ' Many advantages,' 
he wrote, ' might result from an hereditary Legis- 
lative Council, distinguished by some mark of 
honour, did the condition of the country concur 
in supporting this dignity ; but the fluctuating 
state of property in these provinces would expose 
all hereditary honours to fall into disregard ; for 
the present therefore it would seem more advisable 
to appoint the members during life, good behaviour, 
and residence in the province.' l His advice was 

1 Shortt and Doughty, p. 675. Similarly in the summary of recom- 
mendations at the end of his Report, speaking of the Legislative 
Councils, Lord Durham says, ' The analogy which some persons have 



not followed so far as to omit from the Act all 
mention of the subject, but it was followed in that 
the sections which referred to it remained a dead 

The same Act contained the sections which con- 
stituted the clergy reserves and endowed the Church 
of England, and on this subject Lord Durham took 
up his parable in words which have been already 
quoted, pointing out that ' the apparent right 
which time and custom give to the maintenance 
of an ancient and respected institution cannot 
exist in a recently settled country, in which every- 
thing is new' (ii. 178). But apparently one of the 
most unfortunate attempts to reproduce English 
institutions in Lower Canada was the introduction 
of the system of unpaid Justices of the Peace. 
' The system of unpaid magistracy, as incidental 
to the criminal law of England, was naturally 
introduced into the province with that law ; and 
the utter unfitness of the people for such an 
institution is a striking instance of the imprudence 
of unadvisedly engrafting the code of one country 
on that of another ' (Appendix C, iii. 160). This was 
the verdict of the Assistant Commissioners of 
Municipal Inquiry, who further pointed out that 
the Provincial Legislature, by enacting that every 

attempted to draw between the House of Lords and the Legislative 
Councils seems to me erroneous. The constitution of the House of 
Lords is consonant with the frame of English society ; and as the crea- 
tion of a precisely similar body in such a state of society as that of 
these colonies is impossible, it has always appeared to me most unwise 
to attempt to supply its place by one which has no point of resem- 
blance to it, except that of being a non-elective check on the elective 
branch of the Legislature ' (ii. 325). 


Justice of the Peace must possess a certain amount 
of landed property, in accordance with the pre- 
cedent set in the English counties, practically 
excluded from the Commission of the Peace British 
merchants who lived in the towns and did not own 
land. Lord Durham was equally emphatic as to 
the uns'uitability of an unpaid magistracy to the 
case of Lower Canada. ' When we transplant the 
institutions of England into our colonies,' he wrote, 
' we ought at least to take care beforehand that 
the social state of the. Colony should possess those 
peculiar materials on which alone the excellence 
of those institutions depends in the mother coun- 
try ' (ii. 131), and he suggested that under existing 
conditions, a small stipendiary magistracy would 
be preferable not only in Lower Canada but in 
Upper Canada also. 

Bad, however, as had been the result of intro- 
ducing the system of unpaid Justices of the Peace 
into Lower Canada, Lord Durham laid down 
(ii. 126) that ' the most serious mischief in the 
administration of criminal justice arises from the 
entire perversion of the institution of juries, by 
the political and national prejudices of the people '. 
Early in the Report, when illustrating the intense 
animosities of race in Lower Canada, he shows 
how the jury system had been used to obstruct 
justice, a conspicuous instance being the acquittal 
of the murderers of Chartrand l (ii. 52-4) ; and 
he returns to the point, when he deals especially 
with the subject of administration of justice in 
Lower Canada. In the paragraph, which has for 

1 See above, p. 95, and see note (2) to voL ii, p. 54. 


its side-note ' perversion of juries ' (ii. 126), he 
points out how the practical effect of following 
English practice in the selection of juries had 
been to give the French an entire preponderance, 
to produce miscarriage of justice, and to destroy 
public confidence in the administration of the 
criminal law. His summary is (ii. 130) that ' The 
trial by jury is, therefore, at the present moment, 
not only productive in Lower Canada of no con- 
fidence in the honest administration of the laws, 
but also provides impunity for every political 
offence ' ; and it seems strange that he did not 
make any definite recommendation that the system 
should for the time be suspended. But though 
trial by jury, which the English had brought into 
Lower Canada, proved under conditions of ex- 
treme race bitterness to be a temporary failure, 
it was not, in criminal matters at any rate, like 
various other English institutions, permanently 
out of place in the province. It failed utterly for 
the time being, as it has failed at times of political 
excitement in various other countries, notably 
Ireland ; but it must not be classed with the mis- 
fits with which the English, in good intention, 
have from time to time endowed one or another 
province of the Empire. 

On the subject of Appeal Courts, reference 
should be made to a note which has been appended 
to the passages in the Report which deal with this 
subject (ii. 121). From the dispatches which were 
laid before Parliament in 1839, it would seem that 
Durham, while in Canada, was credited or dis- 
credited in England with having created a new 


Court of Appeal for Lower Canada ; whereas he 
left the Executive Council, as he found it, the 
Court of Appeal for the province, but made it 
more effective for the purpose by swearing in an 
additional number of judges as Executive Coun- 
cillors, and by not summoning to the Council, when 
it sat as a Court of Appeal only, those Executive 
Councillors who had no legal training. 1 

At the same time, in the dispatch which he wrote 
on the subject from Canada to Lord Glenelg, he 
said plainly : ' Had I possessed the means and 
the power, I should have been glad to have given 
the province a completely competent and per- 
manent Court of Appeals, consisting entirely of 
lawyers, for it is much wanted and called for, and 
forms one feature of the plan which I had in view 
for the future government of the provinces.' The 
summary of his recommendations at the end of 
the Report does not include a new Court of Appeal 
for Lower Canada or for the two Canadas only, 
but it includes, as has been already noticed, ' a 
supreme Court of Appeal for all the North American 
colonies ' (ii. 325). The 101st section of the British 
North America Act of 1 867 empowered the Dominion 
Parliament to provide such a general Court of 
Appeal for Canada, and in 1875 that Court came 
into existence under the name of the Supreme 
Court of Canada. 

1 See the Report, ii. 123, and see Lord Durham's dispatch to Lord 
Glenelg of September 29, 1838. House of Commons Paper, British 
North America, February 11, 1839, p. 194. See also Buller's Sketch of 
Lord Durham's Mission, iii. 351, 352. 



In the matter of education in Lower Canada, 
Lord Durham criticizes the Government very 
severely. He tells us early in his Report (ii. 27-34) 
that under the French regime no general provision 
was made for education, and goes on to speak 
of the entire neglect of education by the British 
government. Later on (ii. 136) he writes : ' I am 
grieved to be obliged to remark, that the British 
government has, since its possession of this Pro- 
vince, done, or even attempted, nothing for the 
promotion of general education.' Similarly Arthur 
Buller, the commissioner whom he appointed to 
inquire into the state of education in Lower 
Canada, and whose Report forms Appendix D, 
writes (iii. 246) : ' Up to this moment the only acts 
of the British government, in respect of Canadian 
instruction, have been the wholesale seizure and 
the partial restoration of the Jesuits' estates.' 
How far were these criticisms well founded ? 

The education Report gives instances of educa- 
tion Acts being passed by the local Legislature, 
sent home for the Royal Assent, and never being 
heard of again. Both Arthur Buller and Lord 
Durham censure with evident reason the deal- 
ings of the Home Government in connexion with 
the Jesuits' estates. On the other hand, instances 
might be quoted to show that neither Governors 
nor Secretaries of State were unmindful of the 
importance of education; and Lord Glenelg, when 
inviting ' the most serious attention ' of Lord 
Gosford and his colleagues to the state of educa- 


tion in Lower Canada, speaks of ' the earnest 
endeavours of my predecessors on .this subject', 
which had been repeatedly frustrated; although, at 
the same time, he seems to admit that the Imperial 
Government might not have been sufficiently 
prompt in devising a well-considered system of 
education 1 for the province. 

The education Report, as a whole, seems to show 
that the Quebec Assembly was mainly responsible 
for the want of a good educational system in Lower 
Canada, and that, if the Imperial Government 
was to blame, its fault consisted in not having 
made the local Legislature do its duty. Arthur 
Buller advocated, as strongly as Lord Durham 
himself, the Anglifying of Lower Canada ; and this 
process was to be carried out by a system of 
common schools, instead of letting French and 
English children learn their lessons and play their 
games apart. ' Until Canada is nationalized and 
Aiiglified, it is idle for England to be devising 
schemes for her improvement. In this great work 
of nationalization, education is at once the most 
convenient and powerful instrument ' (iii. 273). 
Similarly, before the Constitutional Act of 1791 
was passed, in October 1784, Hugh Finlay, the 
Postmaster-General of the Province of Quebec, 
wrote : ' Before we think of a House of Assembly 
for this country, let us lay a foundation for useful 
knowledge to fit the people to judge of their situa- 
tion, and deliberate for the future wellbeing of the 
Province. The first step towards this desirable 

1 See House of Commons Paper, No. 113, March, 1836, Copy of the 
Instructions given to the Earl of Gosford, &c., p. 15. 


end is to have a free school in every parish. Let 
the schoolmasters be English, if we would make 
Englishmen of the Canadians.' l If then the British 
Government was to be blamed for the want of 
a sound system of education among the peasantry 
of Lower Canada, and if the essence of a sound 
system of education was the establishment of 
common schools, in which the children were to be 
brought up to be British and not French, then it 
must be summed up that the fault of the Imperial 
Government consisted in not over-riding popular 
wishes, traditions, and prejudices, in not forcing 
a French people and a Roman Catholic Church 
the latter distinguished, as Arthur Buller is careful 
to tell us, by ' the most undeviating allegiance 
to the British Crown ' (iii. 241), to extinguish 
their nationality and give up the principle of 
separate schools. 

Lord Durham, as well as Arthur Buller, saw the 
difficulty of the position and the obstacles which 
the clergy, not of the Roman Catholic Church 
alone, would place in the way of non-sectarian 
education. He expresses his confidence, notwith- 
standing, ' that the establishment of a strong 
popular government in this province would very 
soon lead to the introduction of a liberal and 
general system of public education' (ii. 136); and 
then, in the words which have been quoted, he 
goes on to blame the British Government for having 
done nothing in the matter. 

The Report of the Commissioner of Inquiry 

1 Finlay to Nepean, Quebec, October 22, 1784 (Shortt and Doughty, 
p. 500); but Finlay would have allowed the masters to be Roman 


into the state of Education in Lower Canada is 
dated Quebec, 15th November 1838; but, from the 
wording of the Report, it is clear that it was not 
written, at any rate in part, until a later date ; 
and it was not laid before Parliament until June 
1839, whereas Lord Durham's own Report was pre- 
sented in the previous February. Lord Durham, 
therefore, speaks of the results of the Education 
Inquiry as not complete (ii. 134), and his own com- 
ments are mainly confined to emphasizing the very 
defective state of elementary education in Lower 
Canada, and in one passage (ii. 94) enlarging upon 
the extent to which political jobbery had entered 
into educational grants. It may be noted that 
Lord Gosford and his fellow commissioners also 
dealt very briefly with this thorny subject in their 
General Report on Lower Canada in November 
1836, and in regard to religious instruction, con- 
fined themselves to generalities and to a pious 
hope ' that a system of education founded on the 
truly Christian principle of toleration and general 
charity would not be unattainable '. 1 

Lord Durham's Commissioner of Inquiry, Arthur 
Buller, was the younger brother of Charles Buller, 
and, like the latter, had been a pupil of Carlyle. The 
family ability is evident in his Report, and though 
his work was cut short by Lord Durham's resigna- 
tion, he collected and embodied in the Report a 
great amount of valuable information, which was 
supplemented by a very exhaustive Report on the 

1 Reports of Commissioners on Grievances complained of in Lower 
Canada. House of Commons Paper, No. 50, February 20, 1837, General 
Report, p. 50. 


Jesuits' estates, compiled by Mr. Dunkin, the 
Secretary to the Education Commission. Buller 
comments on the dealings or misdealings of the 
British Government with the Jesuits' estates, 
which were in 1831 handed over to the Colonial 
Legislature for the purposes of education. He gives 
some account of the education Acts which were 
passed by that Legislature, and of the education 
Bills which did not become law ; and he sums up 
(iii. 265) that education in Lower Canada ' lan- 
guished under systems where the masters were 
illiterate and needy ; the supervision careless and 
dishonest ; the school-houses unfit for occupation, 
and ill supplied with fuel ; the children unpro- 
vided with books ; and parents utterly indifferent 
to an institution of which they could not appreciate 
the importance, and the trouble and cost of which, 
at all events, they deemed the province of the 
legislature '. This deplorable result he attributed 
mainly to the fact that education had been made 
by the House of Assembly subservient to politics. 
' The moment they found that their educational 
provisions could be turned to political account, 
from that moment those provisions were framed 
with a view to promote party rather than educa- 
tion ' (iii. 266). The utter breakdown of all previous 
education schemes, however, had in his eyes the 
merit that it left the field clear for a wholly new 
system, which he proceeded to recommend, the 
basis of his proposals, as has already been stated, 
being that ' the principle of Anglification is to be 
unequivocally recognized, and inflexibly carried 
out ' (iii. 288). 


He tells us that, in making his proposals, he took 
for his models the educational systems in force in 
Prussia and the United States ; and it may be 
noted that the Gosford Commission mentions 'that 
the Report of M. Cousin on the state of education 
in Prussia, as well as several works on the subject 
of education in the United States, are beginning 
to attract notice in the Province V The chief 
features of the proposals were, that there should 
be common elementary schools for the children 
of all denominations, in which undenominational 
Christianity should be taught from an approved 
book of Bible extracts, denominational teaching 
being allowed out of school hours. The elementary 
schools were to be supplemented by a certain 
number of model schools, giving a rather higher 
education, and offering scholarships to the best 
boys from the elementary schools. These model 
schools were to supply pupils to three normal 
schools, in which the future schoolmasters were to 
be trained ; and to the normal schools, and if 
possible to the model schools also, farms were to 
be attached, in which the pupils should learn the 
most approved methods of agriculture. 

The elementary and model schools were to be 
supported on the principle which had been adopted 
in the United States, viz. by requiring ' each 
school district to furnish, by assessment, among 

1 House of Commons Paper, February 20, 1837, General Report, p. 49. 
The Cousin referred to was Victor Cousin. He was in 1831 commis- 
sioned by the Government of Louis -Philippe to go to Germany to 
examine the state of education there, and in 1832 he published his 
' Rapport sur 1'etat de I'instruction publique dans quelques pays de 
1'Allemagne, et particulierement en Prusse ', 


its inhabitants, an amount at least equivalent to 
the sum apportioned to it from the public funds ' 
(iii. 279). The sum to be granted from public 
funds, which was to include the whole cost of the 
normal schools, and also a grant for the encourage- 
ment of superior educational institutions, was to 
be charged upon a permanent education fund, 
which fund was to be supplied from the proceeds 
of the Jesuits' estates and the clergy reserves, 
supplemented by direct grants from the provincial 
treasury. Popular or local control over the schools 
was to be secured in the following manner (iii. 285). 
Lower Canada was to be divided into munici- 
palities, and the municipalities into districts. 
Three school commissioners were to be elected 
for each municipality, and three trustees for 
each district. The commissioners were to have 
vested in them all the legal estate of the elemen- 
tary schools in their respective municipalities, 
to receive the money allotted by the Govern- 
ment for education, and to distribute it to the 
trustees in the districts. The trustees were ' to 
manage the daily concerns ' of the schools, to 
receive the Government grants, to collect the 
money raised by local assessment, to pay the 
masters, and in conjunction with the ministers of 
religion to appoint the masters. In each munici- 
pality there was to be a board of school visitors, 
consisting of * the resident ministers of religion, 
two residents appointed by the Inspector, and two 
annually by the municipality '. There were to be 
slightly different arrangements for the three large 
towns. There were to be three inspectors for the 


whole province, and over all, at the seat of govern- 
ment, a superintendent or chief officer of instruc- 
tion, who, as well as the three inspectors, was to be 
kept completely aloof from politics. 

Finally, the proposed system, if and when 
adopted and embodied in law, was to be ' gradu- 
ally put in force by a board of Commissioners some- 
what similarly constituted to that of the Board of 
Poor Law Commissioners in this country ' (iii. 293). 

Bearing in mind that the root principle of the 
scheme was to make Lower Canada English, that 
the Roman Catholic Church was whole-hearted in 
opposition to it, and had petitioned Lord Durham 
for separate Roman Catholic schools (iii. 277), that 
the Church of England clergy were almost unani- 
mously hostile, and the Presbyterians divided 
(iii. 277, 278), that the Canadian peasantry were 
indifferent to education, and strongly objected to 
being taxed to pay for it, it is difficult to regard 
Buller's proposals as in any sense practicable, or 
to look upon his Report as other than an interest- 
ing essay on what might have been ideally the best 
scheme of education for Lower Canada, if the actual 
conditions had not presented insuperable diffi- 
culties to its adoption. It is true that not many 
years had passed since Catholic emancipation had 
been carried in England, that in Canada and else- 
where under Protestant rule the Roman Catholics 
did not hold so assured a position as they do at 
the present day, and that by common consent 
tolerance and forbearance between the rival de- 
nominations was conspicuous in Lower Canada. 
' It is indeed an admirable feature of Canadian 


society,' Lord Durham writes (ii. 39), * that it is 
entirely devoid of any religious dissensions. Sec- 
tarian intolerance is not merely not avowed, but it 
hardly seems to influence men's feelings.' It might 
therefore not be safe to estimate the strength of 
the opposition to Buller's recommendations by the 
feeling which was aroused in later years, when the 
Manitoba schools question was faced by Sir Wilfrid 
Laurier. But, just as Canada had been divided 
into two provinces in 1791, largely in the hope of 
preventing friction between the two rival races, so 
it is probable that the kindly feeling between the 
different denominations was in great measure due 
to their holding apart from each other in educa- 
tional matters ; and it is impossible to doubt that 
any British Government, which had resolved to 
carry out what Buller proposed, would have been 
practically committed to replacing tolerance with 
religious bitterness, to alienating a loyal church, 
and to coercing the whole French Canadian people. 
Lord Durham, it has been seen, had not Buller's 
full Report before him when he wrote his own, and 
contented himself with contemplating that the 
laity would be too strong for the clergy, and that 
the grant of a popular Government would bring in 
its train a liberal system of public education. He 
cannot therefore be held responsible for Buller's 
views; and yet it can hardly be doubted that those 
views largely reflected his own, especially as the 
Anglifying of French Canada was one of the main 
themes of his Report. We come back then once 
more to the point of view that Lord Durham was 
prepared to take a high hand in carrying through 


the reforms that he deemed to be necessary, to 
the conclusion that possibly he did not always 
sufficiently count the cost, and that, had he been 
placed in the position not to recommend merely 
but to carry out his recommendations with a free 
hand, it is possible that French Canada might not 
have been redeemed by responsible government, but 
by the measures which were to be co-temporaneous 
with responsible government, might have been con- 
verted into the Poland of the British Empire. 

It is interesting to note how Buller contrasts 
the character of the two sexes among the French 
Canadians, as the result of the better education 
which the girls received. ' The difference in the 
character of the two sexes is remarkable. The 
women are really the men of Lower Canada. They 
are the active, bustling, business portion of the 
habitants, and this results from the much better 
education which they get, gratuitously, or at 
a very cheap rate, at the nunneries which are 
dispersed over the province ' (iii. 267, 268). Very 
noteworthy too are his comments on ' the too 
great abundance of means of superior education 
enjoyed by the French Canadians' (iii. 270), as 
compared with the almost total want of facilities 
for higher education in the case of the British 
population in Lower Canada. Lord Durham also 
refers to this point. ' I know of no people among 
whom a larger provision exists for the higher kinds 
of elementary education, or among whom such 
education is really extended to a larger propor- 
tion of the population ' (ii. 32) ; and again (ii. 134), 
' I have described the singular abundance of a 

1352-1 B 


somewhat defective education which exists for the 
higher classes, and which is solely in the hands of 
the Catholic priesthood.' On the other hand, 
' There exists at present no means of college educa- 
tion for Protestants in the province ; and the 
desire of obtaining general, and still more, pro- 
fessional instruction, yearly draws a great many 
young men into the United States.' Buller gives 
a list of the institutions for higher education which 
had been established by and under the control of 
the Roman Catholic Church, including ' the two 
large seminaries of Quebec and Montreal ', founded 
in the seventeenth century, the former by the great 
Bishop Laval, the latter by the Sulpiciaris ; l and 
he explains the use of the words ' too great abun- 
dance of means of superior education', by pointing 
out, as Lord Durham also points out, that the 
children educated at these colleges and seminaries, 
many or most of them children of habitants, were 
too numerous for them all to reap the advantages 
of their education in after life. The priesthood 
was open to them, but the military and naval 
professions were closed. They overstocked the 
professions of advocate, notary, and surgeon. 
Sprung from the ranks of the people, they led the 
people. ' To this singular state of things,' writes 
Lord Durham, ' I attribute the extraordinary in- 
fluence of the Canadian demagogues ' (ii. 33). As 
far back as 1768, Carleton had impressed upon the 

1 The letters patent of the French Crown, which authorized the 
seminary of Quebec, were dated April, 1663 ; this seminary was the 
parent of Laval University, created in 1852. The letters patent of the 
French Crown, which authorized the Sulpician seminary at Montreal, 
were dated May 1677. 


British Government in the strongest terms the 
impolicy of excluding Canadians, more especially 
the Canadian gentry, from employment under 
Government ; Lord Durham notes the kindred but 
somewhat different evil, of peasant children being 
educated for higher work than that of a peasant, 
and finding in after life that they had been taught 
and trained in vain. 

Meanwhile, for the Protestant children of Lower 
Canada, two grammar schools were in the year 1826 
established at Quebec and Montreal respectively, 
to which the Government, under the authority of 
the Secretary of State, with no great tact or con- 
sideration for Roman Catholic feelings, gave small 
annual grants from the proceeds of the Jesuits' 
estates. There was also one Protestant endowment 
at Montreal, of which the world was to hear in the 
days to come. In 1801 a provincial Act was passed 
' for the establishment of Free schools and the 
advancement of Learning in the province '. Under 
this Act a corporation, entitled 'The Royal In- 
stitution for the advancement of Learning ', was 
constituted for the management of the schools. 
This corporation was in fact, or was regarded by the 
Roman Catholics and French Canadians as being, 
exclusively British and Protestant ; and in con- 
sequence the system was a failure. When Buller 
wrote his Report, he stated that 'The corpora- 
tion has now no other function than the trustee- 
ship of McGiU's college' (iii. 249). This college, 
he tells us, was not yet open, the building was not 
yet erected, and the endowment was not sufficient 
to raise the college to the rank of a university. 



The will of the founder, a Scotchman, James McGill, 
had been made in 1811, nearly three years before his 
death. A Royal Charter had been granted to the 
college in 1821 ; but it was not until an amended 
charter had been obtained in 1852, that the 
college began to develop into the great McGill 
University, which is now one of the Universities 
of the world. In the meantime, Buller suggested 
that if the British North American provinces should 
be united, a university jointly endowed by them 
might be established at Quebec. 

B tiller's Education Report referred to Lower 
Canada only, and Lord Durham has little to say 
on the subject of education in Upper Canada. He 
comments on the paucity of schools in the pro- 
vince, and notes that of the lands which had been 
originally appropriated for the support of schools 
throughout the country, the most valuable part 
had been diverted to the endowment of a univer- 
sity at Toronto (ii. 184). But there had been no 
indifference to the cause of education in Upper 
Canada. Private effort had been abundant, and 
the Government and Legislature had at least 
attempted to do their duty. The Lieutenant- 
Governors, from Simcoe onwards, had for the most 
part taken a warm personal interest in education, 
especially in higher education. Sir Peregrine Mait- 
land was Lieutenant-Govemor, when a Board of 
Education was established ; and Sir John Colborne, 
who while Lieutenant-Governor of Guernsey had 
regenerated Elizabeth College in that island, con- 
ferred a similar boon upon Upper Canada, by re- 
placing the Home district school of Toronto with 


Upper Canada College, which was opened in 1830. 
The religious forbearance, which was so much in 
evidence in Lower Canada, did not exist to the 
same degree in the Upper province. Lord Durham 
(ii. 179-82) criticizes strongly the spirit of Orange in- 
tolerance towards the Roman Catholics, who formed 
one-fifth of the population of Upper Canada. It 
was the more marked, inasmuch as Upper Canada 
was the home of the Roman Catholic Glengarry 
Highlanders, and of Bishop McDonell, conspicuous 
in loyalty to the British Government. The feeling 
between Protestants and Roman Catholics on the 
one hand, and 011 the other between the Church of 
England and the non-Episcopalian Protestant 
bodies which centred round the question of the 
clergy reserves, was reflected in the denominational 
colleges which were established for higher educa- 
tion. Elementary education was dealt with by 
a provincial Act of 1816, which provided annual 
grants for the establishment of common schools 
throughout the province. The Act was to be in 
force for four years : it was renewed with modi- 
fications in 1820, and in 1824 it was made per- 
manent. The Act of 1824 mentioned for the first 
time a General Board and district boards of 
education, and also extended the provisions of 
the Education Acts to schools for Indian children. 
Provision for higher education had been made at 
an earlier date. In 1797, when Peter Russell was 
administering the government, the Legislature of 
Upper Canada petitioned the Crown to appropriate 
a certain amount of Crown lands, for the establish- 
ment and support of grammar schools in the 


different districts, and of a college or university. 
The result was that some 550,000 acres were 
allotted for the purpose. In 1807 an Act was 
passed to establish public schools in the districts 
of the province, 800 being provided to pay 100 
per annum to the master of each school in eight 
districts. These public schools were the district 
grammar schools of the province. Simcoe had 
contemplated a university for Upper Canada con- 
nected with the Church of England ; the petition 
of the Legislature to the King in 1797 had asked 
for lands to endow a college or university as well 
as grammar schools, and the strong feeling in the 
province in favour of a university was shown by 
the fact that a provincial Act of 1820, for increas- 
ing the number of members of the House of 
Assembly, provided for future university represen- 
tation. Eventually, in 1827, King's College at 
Toronto obtained a Royal charter, and was en- 
dowed with some 225,000 acres of the Crown land 
which had been appropriated for the purposes of 
higher education. Dr. Strachan, who had himself 
been a schoolmaster, the strong and able leader of 
the Church of England in Upper Canada, had much 
to do with obtaining the charter; and, although 
no religious tests were imposed upon the students, 
the college was placed entirely under the control 
of the Church of England, the president being the 
Archdeacon of Toronto, who at the time was 
Dr. Strachan himself. This exclusive control 
gave rise to complaints from the other Protestant 
bodies, and the House of Commons Committee of 
1828 upon the Civil Government of Canada recom- 


mended that the Constitution should be widened. 
This was effected by a provincial Act of 1837, and 
eventually in 1843 the college, no longer a purely 
Anglican institution, began its work. In 1849 
it was made entirely secular, and its name was 
changed to that of the University of Toronto. Its 
place as a Church of England college was taken 
by Trinity College at Toronto, which was estab- 
lished in 1852, and received a Royal charter in 
1853; and meanwhile other denominations had 
also formed colleges of their own, the Wesleyans 
at Coburg, the Presbyterians at Kingston, and the 
Roman Catholics also at Kingston, the colleges 
being known as Victoria College, Queen's College, 
and Regiopolis respectively. 

Lord Durham was not specially concerned with 
education, and he was specially concerned with 
the political condition of Upper Canada and its 
constitutional disorders. But, had he given closer 
attention to the province and spent a longer time 
in it, he might have found space in his Report to 
note the efforts which citizens and rulers alike 
had made in the cause of education, and might 
have placed on record that no little credit in this 
connexion was due to Tory Lieutenant-Governors 
who had old-fashioned views as to Church and 
State, and to the members of the Family Compact. 

Reference has already been made to Lord Dur- 
ham's views as to a future general union of the 
British North American provinces. c On my first 
arrival in Canada,' he writes (ii. 304), ' I was 


strongly inclined to the project of & federal union, 
and it was with such a plan in view, that I dis- 
cussed a general measure for the government of 
the Colonies, with the deputations from the Lower 
Provinces, and with various leading individuals and 
public bodies in both the Canadas.' Buller tells 
us, in his sketch of the Mission, that Lord Durham 
had prepared the outline of such a scheme before 
he left England, that Roebuck had suggested it in 
the House of Commons, and that it had been well 
received. He tells us too that Durham had con- 
templated forming three provinces out of the two 
Canadas, constituting a new province out of the 
district of Montreal, the adjacent part of Upper 
Canada, and the eastern townships. Recognizing 
the objections to any plan of federal government, 
Durham had none the less contemplated that a 
federation formed under a monarchial government 
would gradually grow into a complete legislative 
union. But, on further consideration, and with 
longer experience of the conditions of British North 
America, he came to a different conclusion. He 
reasoned that the time was past for gradual 
measures in the case of Lower Canada; that the 
co-operation which would alone make a federal 
constitution practicable, would be wanting in the 
case of the French Canadians, if they were left, as 
they would be under a federal system, in a majority 
in their provincial Legislature; 'that tranquillity 
can only be restored by subjecting the province to 
the vigorous rule of an English majority ; and that 
the only efficacious government would be that 
formed by a legislative union ' (ii. 307). 


On the other hand, while complete and im- 
mediate fusion of the two Canadas under one 
Legislature was, in his opinion, a vital necessity, 
and while therefore a federal system, at any rate as 
between the two Canadas, was rendered impossible, 
he did not consider that the conditions of the 
Maritime Provinces were such as to make it either 
just or expedient to force upon these latter pro- 
vinces legislative union, until their Legislatures and 
peoples had been given ample time for deliberation 
and consent (ii. 322-3). This train of reasoning 
led him to recommend immediate legislation by the 
Imperial Parliament, 'restoring the union of the 
Canadas under one legislature, and reconstitut- 
ing them as one province' (ii. 323-5); but 'the 
Bill ', he continued, ' should contain provisions by 
which any or all of the North American colonies 
may, on the application of the Legislature, be, with 
the consent of the two Canadas, or their united 
Legislature, admitted into the union on such 
terms as may be agreed on between them ' ; and 
he goes on to recommend in terms which are 
not quite clear, that ' a general executive on an 
improved principle should be established, together 
with a Supreme Court of Appeal, for all the North 
American colonies ', as though the executive and 
the judicial powers respectively were to be united 
in advance of legislative union. Possibly, by a 
general executive prior to legislative union, he 
intended no more than that a governor-in-chief or 
governor-general should be appointed, who should 
be in fact and not merely, as had been the case, 
in name, Governor of the whole of British North 


America, having one or more secretaries who 
would correspond with all the provinces. 

The conclusion of the whole matter then was 
that the condition of French Canada at the time 
determined Lord Durham's views with regard to 
British North America generally. But for the 
critical state of Lower Canada, he would have 
recommended a federation of the British North 
American provinces. He would have recommended 
it, however, not as a final and permanent solu- 
tion, but as a preliminary to complete union. As 
things were, he concluded that the two Canadas 
must at once be fused, not federated ; and thus, 
having begun with union, he proposed that the 
union should gradually be extended, without the 
preliminary stage of federation. But, though he 
thus advocated union and not federation, he must 
be regarded as having in the essence foreshadowed 
the future dominion. The soundness of his reason- 
ing that the Maritime Provinces should not be 
hurried into combination with the Canadas, was 
illustrated by the difficulty which was experienced 
in carrying confederation in those provinces ; and 
his proposal to include Newfoundland in the 
political system of British North America was 
revived, when the makers of confederation were 
drafting their first schemes. No part of his Report 
is more vivid or more cogent than the passages in 
which he sets out the gains which would accrue 
to British North America from being made one, 
his words speak for themselves, they would be 
spoiled by paraphrase, and one or two points only 
seem to call for comment and elucidation. 


He starts by distinguishing between the two 
kinds of union which had been proposed, and which 
he terms federal and legislative (ii. 302-8) ; he 
defines federal union as a system under which ' the 
separate legislature of each province would be pre- 
served in its present form, and retain almost all 
its present attributes of internal legislation ; the 
federal legislature exercising no power, save in 
those matters of general concern, which may have 
been expressly ceded to it by the constituent 
Provinces ' ; and a few lines lower down he mentions 
as an objection which might be urged against a 
federal system, 'that a colonial federation must 
have, in fact, little legitimate authority or busi- 
ness, the greater part of the ordinary functions of 
a federation falling within the scope of the Imperial 
legislature and executive '. Similarly, Lord Glenelg, 
when, as has already been noticed, 1 he suggested 
to Lord Durham, in January 1838, that some kind 
of federal legislative body might be established 
for the two Canadian provinces, spoke of it merely 
as ' some joint legislative authority, which should 
preside over all questions of common interest to 
the two provinces, and which might be appealed 
to in extraordinary cases to arbitrate between 
contending parties in either ; preserving, however, 
to each province its distinct legislature, with 
authority in all matters of exclusively domestic 
concern '. Lord Durham then clearly contem- 
plated that a Federal Legislature in British North 
America would have little or no real power, 
inasmuch as British North America would not be 

1 Dispatch of January 20, 1838. See above, pp. 113, 132. 


an independent State or nation. The real power 
would rest, partly with the Provincial Legislatures, 
and partly with the Imperial Government. Though 
it is the barest justice to his memory to regard him 
as the prophet of the coming Dominion, he did not 
contemplate what actually came to pass under the 
British North America Act, viz. that a Federal 
Legislature could and would be constituted of such 
a kind that, while its powers were necessarily only 
those which had been * expressly ceded to it by 
the constituent provinces ', yet the constituent 
provinces would cede to it all the powers which 
were not expressly reserved to themselves. Unlike 
the constitution of the United States, and unlike 
the constitution of the Commonwealth of Aus- 
tralia, the constitution of the Dominion of Canada 
makes the Federal Government and not the provin- 
cial governments the residuary legatee of political 
power in Canada. Neither in its relation to the 
constituent provinces, nor in its relation to the Im- 
perial Legislature and Executive, is the Dominion 
Legislature a shadow without the substance : on 
the contrary it is in this Federal Legislature that 
the real power over Canada resides. To appreciate 
Lord Durham's point of view, it is necessary, on 
the one hand to bear in mind that what he had to 
guide him in forming his opinions on the subject 
of federation was the one great existing example 
of federation in the United States, and on the 
other hand to remember the lines which he laid 
down for responsible government. In the case of 
the United States he saw how strong had been 
and still was the basis of State rights, and to his 


mind a Federal Legislature with substantial power 
had only been rendered possible, because there was 
no further sovereign power outside and beyond. 
On the other hand, he had drawn a distinct line 
beyond which responsible government should not 
be extended, the line being between what he held 
to be matters of domestic and what he considered 
matters of imperial concern. The matters of 
domestic concern were matters for the domestic 
Legislature, and that meant, as long as the pro- 
vinces were not made one, the Legislature of each 
single province. The matters of imperial concern 
were to be regulated outside Canada altogether, 
by the Imperial Legislature and Executive. Where, 
he argued, was there a place for an intermediate 
Legislature, except as a transitory form preliminary 
to substantial union. But what actually happened 
was the creation of a Legislature which took over 
a large proportion of the matters of domestic con- 
cern, and which either from the first possessed, or, 
as years went on, gradually gathered, many or 
most of the powers which Lord Durham conceived 
to be outside the sphere of purely Canadian politics. 
He was wrong and yet he was right : he was right 
and yet he was wrong. He wanted to create 
a nation, and that was achieved by the British 
North America Act. The Act really brought union 
into existence under the guise of federation. But 
when a nation was made, it was not possible to 
set bounds to national aspirations, or to uphold 
the limits within which he proposed to grant 
responsible government. 

There is one aspect of a Federal Legislature, not 


of great importance now, but important enough 
in earlier days, which he rather left out of sight. 
In discussing the future union of British North 
America, he quotes a letter which Chief Justice 
Sewell had received from the father of Queen 
Victoria, the Duke of Kent, on proposals for a 
union of the British North American provinces, 
which Sewell had submitted to the Duke. When 
the Bill, which eventually became the Constitu- 
tional Act of 1791, was under consideration, a pre- 
decessor of Sewell, Chief Justice Smith, wrote to 
Lord Dorchester a memorable letter in which he 
commented on the absence in that Bill of any pro- 
vision for a General Legislature for all the British 
North American provinces. To the want of such 
a Legislature the writer attributed in large measure 
the loss of the old American colonies. It was in 
his view hopeless to have expected ' wisdom and 
moderation from near a score of " petty Parlia- 
ments ", with which Great Britain had had to deal.' 
'All America was thus, at the very outset of the 
Plantations, abandoned to Democracy. And it 
belonged to the Administrations of the days of our 
fathers to have found the cure, in the erection of 
a Power upon the Continent itself, to control all its 
own little Republics, and create a Partner in the 
Legislation of the Empire, capable of consulting 
their own safety and the common welfare '- 1 
Chief Justice Smith confined himself to the sub- 
ject of legislation, and apparently did not contem- 
plate responsible government ; and Lord Durham, 

1 Chief Justice Smith to Lord Dorchester, February 5, 1790. Sec 
Canadian Constitutional Development, Egerton and Grant, pp. 104-6. 


while going beyond him in the matter of granting 
responsible government, equally with him saw 
the advantage of creating a united Legislature, 
which would give a wider field for political am- 
bitions than the ' petty parliaments ' afforded, and 
create more equality and more sense of partner- 
ship with the Parliament of the United Kingdom. 
But Durham did not appreciate, as Chief Justice 
Smith did, or at any rate he did not enlarge 
upon the advantage, under the existing conditions 
of the British Empire, of a Federal Legislature, 
as contrasted with a Legislature which absorbed, 
instead of retaining in some sort, the Provincial 
Legislatures, in that it would have been ' a power 
upon the continent itself ' controlling all its own 
little republics. In other words, he does not seem 
to have appreciated the advantage of a buffer 
between the little republics and the Imperial 
authority, against which, in lieu of the Imperial 
authority, the petty irritation of the provincial 
communities, the inevitable friction between the 
lower and the higher, would mainly have been 

In the earlier stages of the Empire, when dis- 
tance was all powerful and knowledge and wisdom 
lingered, a Central Legislature on the spot, con- 
trolling but not wholly absorbing, and therefore 
not inheriting but restraining the small causes of 
bitterness in subordinate Legislatures, would have 
been, as in later times it has proved to be, a won- 
derful improvement in the machinery of a world- 
wide system. 

There is one thing wanting in Lord Durham's 


forecast of a united Dominion. It has been referred 
to already more than once. He foreshadows a 
Dominion, but it is not a Dominion from sea to sea. 
If he had not seen so far and so wide, there would 
be no room for wondering that he did not see still 
further and wider. But he had so much states- 
manlike imagination, that it is matter for surprise 
that Upper Canada always bounded his western 
view. The territories of the Hudson Bay Company, 
the North West, the Pacific Coast were not within 
the scope of his mission, but yet they need not 
have lain beyond his horizon. The international 
line had long been drawn, though with outstanding 
points of dispute, as far as the Rocky Mountains ; 
and the boundary from thence to the Pacific had 
been matter of negotiation. Possibly the diffi- 
culties with the United States, including the Maine 
Boundary question, to which he refers, and which 
at the beginning of 1839 reached its most acute 
and dangerous stage, made him hesitate to look 
too far afield, into what might be held to be 
debatable territory ; but the result is to leave his 
picture of the future British North America fore- 
shortened and incomplete. Yet it is a splendid 
picture, a great conception embodied in noble 
words. Once more stress may well be laid upon 
the writer's creativeness, his imperialism which 
held that England should make what was small 
and petty into what was worthy and great, his 
unerring perception that there was one way and 
one way only to prevent British North America 
from being permanently overshadowed, and ulti- 
mately absorbed, by the United States, and that 


was by making it one and raising it to be a nation. 
Such a community, strong and self-governing, he 
held, and rightly held, would be less likely than 
the ' petty republics ' to sever the connexion with 
Great Britain. 

As the whole course of Canadian history has 
been dominated by the proximity of the United 
States to Canada, so Lord Durham's Report 
abounds in references to the United States and 
its citizens, made for purposes of illustration, con- 
trast, example, and warning. In 1837 Martin Van 
Buren succeeded General Jackson as President, 
and inherited a legacy of unrest. The year 1837 
was in the United States a year of financial crisis 
and of bank failures. The anti-slavery movement 
was rapidly gathering strength. Texas, settled 
largely by American citizens, had in 1836 declared 
its independence of Mexico, and in 1837 applied 
for admission into the Union ; thenceforward the 
Texas annexation question troubled and divided 
American statesmen and politicians until 1845, 
when Texas became a State of the Union, and war 
with Mexico followed as a necessary consequence. 
Relations between Great Britain and the United 
States were very strained. The Maine Boundary 
question was outstanding, accentuated since the 
admission of the State of Maine to the Union in 
1820. The Fisheries Convention of 1818 between 
Great Britain and the United States had given 
rise to disputes ; and, writing to Lord Durham in 
September 1838 on the state of Nova Scotia, 

1352-1 S 


Mr. William Young referred to * the oppressive and 
systematic encroachments of the Americans upon 
our fisheries '.* Along the international frontier 
further west than the Maritime Provinces, the 
rebellions in Lower and Upper Canada had led to 
breaches of the peace and violations of territory. 
Reference has been made to the case of the Caro- 
line and the bitterness which it caused in the 
United States, while a few hours after Lord 
Durham's landing at Quebec, the Sir Robert Peel, 
a Canadian steamboat on the Upper St. Lawrence, 
putting into the American shore, was taken, looted, 
and burnt by a band of American pirates, to use 
Lord Durham's words. Writing to Lord Glenelg 
a few days afterwards, he reported that the popula- 
tion on the frontier of the State of New York was 
' of the worst class and description squatters, 
refugees, and smugglers, and that the executive 
power of the United States Government is a perfect 
nullity '. 2 He had thus given him, immediately 
after arrival in Canada, a practical illustration 
of the * necessary weakness of a merely Federal 
Government ' (ii. 270). One of his first acts, in 
consequence of the Sir Robert Peel incident, was to 
send his brother-in-law, Colonel Grey, to Wash- 
ington, to carry remonstrances, coupled with assur- 
ances of friendship and co-operation, to President 
Van Buren, with the result that the President, 
honestly anxious to keep the peace, took steps to 
prevent as far as possible a recurrence of similar 

1 See Appendix A, iii. 14. 

* House of Commons Paper, February 11, 1839. British North 
America, p. 114. 


outrages, though the later recrudescence of Canadian 
rebellion led to further fillibustering on the fron- 
tier. Lord Durham fully realized how little was 
wanting to bring on war between England and the 
United States, and to what extent the condition 
of the two Canadas made for war between the two 
countries. In his dispatch of the 9th of August 
1838, which was marked secret at the time, but 
was subsequently published, almost in extenso, in 
the Blue Book of the llth of February 1839, he 
summed up the causes which were exciting American 
animosity against Great Britain. He noted how, 
among the ill-informed in the United States, the 
French Canadians appeared to be struggling for 
the same rights which the Americans had secured 
by the War of Independence ; how the bitterness 
of the British party in Canada against the United 
States, reflected in the colonial newspapers, had 
caused corresponding irritation; and how the 
American mind was becoming familiarized to the 
prospect of war. He commented upon the prac- 
tical inconvenience and expense caused, alike to 
the States on the frontier and to the Federal 
Government, by the disturbances in Canada and 
the weakness of British administration ; upon the 
added political difficulty of the boundary ques- 
tion; and lastly upon the restless, enterprising, 
lawless character of the frontier population, whb 
had a precedent for successful invasion and seizure 
in the events which had taken place in Texas. 
These considerations are set out again at length in 
his Report, and he traces with clearness and in- 
sight how among the British loyalists in Lower 



Canada, exasperation against American sympathy 
with the French Canadians was combined with an 
undercurrent of feeling that incorporation with the 
United States would once for all swamp the French 
majority, and further the material interests of the 
English-speaking population; and how in the Upper 
Province traditional loyalty to the British Govern- 
ment, if not supported by stable administration 
and constitutional reform, might be undermined 
by race sympathy, facility of intercourse, and the 
object lesson of abounding prosperity which dis- 
contented eyes in Canada beheld across the 
frontier. 1 

It was not the least of Lord Durham's services 
to his country that, when he reviewed the state of 
Canada, took action on the spot, and made recom- 
mendations for the future, he had always in mind 
British and Canadian relations with the great 
republic that lined the southern frontier of Canada ; 
and Buller, in his account of the Mission, empha- 
sizes the change of feeling between England and 
the United States, which was the result of Lord 
Durham's prompt measures, and his dignified 
courtesy to American citizens, producing alike 
greater friendliness to the country which he 
represented, and marked personal respect for 

Comment has been made already upon the out- 
spokenness of Lord Durham's Report. He writes 
plainly and fearlessly on the situation from an 
international point of view. The side-note to one 
of his paragraphs is ' Importance of preserving 

1 See ii. 59-64 and 261-3. 


the sympathy of the United States ', and it 
runs : 

' The maintenance of an absolute form of govern- 
ment on any part of the North American Continent 
can never continue for any long time, without 
exciting a general feeling in the United States 
against a power of which the existence is secured 
by means so odious to the people ; and as I rate 
the preservation of the present general sympathy 
of the United States with the policy of our Govern- 
ment in Lower Canada as a matter of the greatest 
importance, I should be sorry that the feeling 
should be changed for one which, if prevalent 
among that people, must extend over the sur- 
rounding provinces ' (ii. 297). 

He argued in effect, that one reason for giving 
responsible government to the Canadas was that 
it would be congenial to the United States a very 
good reason, but not one which at a time of crisis 
was likely to be attractive to loyalists in Canada. 
Again he writes (ii. 311-12) in the plainest words of 
the ever present, ever increasing, all surrounding 
influence of the United States in relation to Canada 
and the Canadians, and uses it as a powerful argu- 
ment for the union of British North America, 
reasoning that ' If we wish to prevent the exten- 
sion of this influence, it can only be done by 
raising up for the North American colonist some 
nationality of his own; by elevating these small 
and unimportant communities into a society hav- 
ing some objects of a national importance ; and 
by thus giving their inhabitants a country which 
they will be unwilling to see absorbed even into 
one more powerful '. 


Throughout his Report he draws a contrast 
between the American and Canadian sides of the 
frontier, in the matter of material development and 
prosperity, attributing the backwardness on the 
Canadian side mainly to the want of free institu- 
tions and firm and wise administration. ' It is not 
politic to waste and cramp their resources, and 
to allow the backwardness of the British provinces 
everywhere to present a melancholy contrast to 
the progress and prosperity of the United States ' 
(ii. 262). In an earlier passage (ii. 212-13), with 
special reference to the disposal of public lands, he 
elaborates the contrast in forcible and picturesque 
language. ' On the American side all is activity 
and bustle. . . . On the British side of the line, with 
the exception of a few favoured spots, where some 
approach to American prosperity is apparent, all 
seems waste and desolate. . . . There, on the side 
of both the Canadas, and also of New Brunswick 
and Nova Scotia, a widely scattered population, 
poor, and apparently unenterprising, though hardy 
and industrious, separated from each other by 
tracts of intervening forest, without towns and 
markets, almost without roads, living in mean 
houses, drawing little more than a rude subsist- 
ence from ill-cultivated land, and seemingly in- 
capable of improving their condition, present the 
most instructive contrast to their enterprising and 
thriving neighbours on the American side.' This 
last passage elicited an angry protest from the 
Select Committee of the House of Assembly in 
Upper Canada, who quoted it in their Report, and 
called on the Canadian farmers living by the 


St. Lawrence and on the Niagara frontier to ' read 
this degrading account of them, and ask themselves 
whether they would feel perfectly safe in submit- 
ting their future political fate, and that of their 
children, to the dogmas of a man who has so grossly 
misstated their character and condition '.* 

Lord Durham may have used exaggerated terms, 
but for many years after his time the contrast 
between the Canadian and American sides of the 
frontier was a favourite theme, and it has been 
reserved to the twentieth century to exhibit 
Canada perhaps rather the North- West than the 
Canada of Lord Durham's vision as more than 
rivalling the United States in attractiveness for 
settlers. Moreover, in view of the emphasis which 
Lord Durham laid upon misgovernment in Canada, 
it is interesting to note that no little element in 
this attractiveness has been the better administra- 
tion of law in the Canadian Dominion than in the 
United States. On the other hand, it is a question 
whether Lord Durham did not overestimate the 
effect of defective institutions and inadequate 
administration, as accounting for the comparative 
backwardness of Canada. He did not take into 
account the fact that British settlement in Canada 
was in its infancy, whereas the vast development 
which he noted in the United States was the out- 
come of forces which generations had helped to bring 
to maturity. Unless gold or diamonds are brought 
to light, British colonization is wont to be a slow 
growth, but there comes a time, which has already 

1 See Parliamentary Paper, No. 289, June, 1839. Copies or Extracts 
of Correspondence Relative to the Affairs of Canada, p. 30. 


come in Canada, and which seems to be nearly due 
in Australia, when harvest succeeds to seed time, 
when the young country comes of age, and when 
men enter in not by tens but by thousands, to 
open the lands and build up a nation. 

In points of detail Lord Durham holds up the 
United States as a model to Canada. In the 
matter of public lands, for instance, he contrasts 
the efficiency of the system in the United States 
with the absence of any system in the British 
North American colonies (ii. 211). The words have 
already been quoted, in which he refers to the Erie 
Canal, and points out that ' the state of New York 
made its own St. Lawrence from Lake Erie to the 
Hudson, while the Government of Lower Canada 
could not achieve, or even attempt, the few miles of 
canal and dredging, which would have rendered its 
mighty rivers navigable almost to their sources' 
(ii. 99-100). He notes the ' noble provision ' made 
by the northern States of the Union for education, 
as against the absence of any general system of in- 
struction in Lower Canada (ii. 133); he speaks of the 
efficiency of the municipal institutions in these same 
northern States, whereas such institutions were 
wholly wanting in French Canada (ii. 91-92 and 
112) ; and in a very interesting passage he writes at 
some length on Louisiana, giving that State as an 
instance, which he considered might well be copied 
in the case of Lower Canada, of a French popula- 
tion being successfully absorbed in a wider nation- 
ality (ii. 299-302) ; in the same connexion he refers 
to the fusion of the Dutch element in the State 
of New York. 


He emphasized the bright side of American in- 
stitutions and American initiative, and rather left 
in the background the counterbalancing defects. 
Even in the matter of public works, Canada had 
not all to learn from the United States. A note 
to the Report of the Assistant Commissioners of 
Municipal Inquiry runs, ' Persons who are dis- 
posed to regard the local administration of the 
United States as a model for other countries, will 
probably be unwilling to believe that in the State 
of New York, whose prosperity has been immensely 
increased by its canal and railroad communications, 
the management of the roads is extremely defec- 
tive, although there is a large population, possess- 
ing abundant resources.' J Mr. Young, of Nova 
Scotia, saw nothing to gain from American citizen- 
ship : ' I know not of a single individual of 
influence or talent, who would not regard a sever- 
ance of our connection with the mother country, 
and our incorporation, which would soon follow, 
into the American Union, with its outrages oil 
property and real freedom, its growing democratic 
spirit and executive weakness, as the greatest 
misfortune that could befall us.' 2 To Lord Dur- 
ham the United States were a bright illustration 
of the blessings which flow from responsible govern- 
ment, coupled with wise treatment of public lands. 
It is true that, as has been pointed out already, he 
did not look closely into the American constitution 
or examine how far the Americans enjoyed what he 
meant by responsible government. It was enough 
for him that they had free institutions, and from 

1 Appendix C, iii. 194 note. 2 Appendix A, iii. 13. 


these institutions, in his view, flowed material 
blessings. He over-rated the shortcomings of men 
and things in Canada, he drew too rosy a picture 
of men and things in the United States, but his 
conclusion was sound and true. If British North 
America was to be kept for Great Britain, instead 
of succumbing to the powerful attraction of the 
great and growing republic which was and is 
its everyday neighbour, then the British North 
American provinces must be given self-government, 
and be raised by union from the level of separate 
petty communities to the higher plane of a single 


In connexion with, but over and above, the 
main subject of responsible government, Lord 
Durham's views on the Colonial Office and colonial 
administration are worthy of note. It has been 
seen that, at the time when he wrote, the Colonial 
Office was, from the nature of the case, mainly 
a Crown Colony Office ; that the head of the per- 
manent staff in the office was an unusually strong 
official, serving a Secretary of State who, from the 
public point of view, was exceptionally inadequate ; 
and that Charles Buller, the sworn foe of the 
Colonial Office, was Lord Durham's right hand 
man. Further, whereas, in the Liverpool adminis- 
tration, Lord Bathurst had been Secretary of State 
for the Colonies for fifteen years, from 1812 to 
1827, holding the office for a longer period con- 
tinuously than any Secretary of State for the 


Colonies before or since, in the next ten years the 
appointment had changed hands no fewer than 
eight times. These frequent changes were, in the 
Report of a Select Committee of the House of 
Assembly of Upper Canada, which Lord Durham 
quotes and endorses (ii. 104), alleged to be ' one of 
the chief causes of dissatisfaction with the adminis- 
tration of Colonial affairs '. 

How strongly the Colonial Office was criticized 
and condemned by men of the Buller school, can 
best be judged by reading the speeches of his 
friend Sir William Molesworth, who eventually 
became for a few months before his death Secretary 
of State for the Colonies. Molesworth's criticisms 
of the office were not confined to the regime of 
Lord Glenelg, whose colonial administration he 
attacked in the House of Commons in 1838, but 
continued pretty well to the end of his own life in 
the fifties. His theme was mainly the maladminis- 
tration of the present self-governing dominions, 
but he also held that the Crown Colonies were mis- 
governed ; and, when in 1849 he moved for a 
Royal Commission to inquire into the administra- 
tion of the colonies, while laying down that ' the 
Commission should draw a broad distinction be- 
tween those colonies which have or ought to have 
representative institutions, and those of the Crown 
Colonies which are unfit for free institutions ', he 
expressed the view that ' In both cases the more 
the government is local, the better I believe it 
will be. It will, therefore, be an important subject 
for inquiry by the Commission, what is the best 
form of local government for those Crown Colonies 


which are unfit for free institutions V In an earlier 
speech he contrasted the Government of India, 
still under the East India Company, most favour- 
ably with Colonial Office mismanagement -of the 
Crown Colonies. On another occasion he asserted 
that * the tendency of every Executive, and especi- 
ally of a Colonial Office Executive, is towards exces- 
sive expenditure, and therefore towards excessive 
taxation ' ; * and from first to last he argued, and 
so did Buller, that the Colonial Office system, as 
it existed in his time, was not merely faulty but 
absolutely impossible, for it consisted in arbitrary 
power exercised by ignorant and irresponsible men 
at a distance. The Secretaries of State were con- 
stantly changing, and could therefore have no real 
grip of colonial administration : they were nomi- 
nally responsible to Parliament, but practically 
irresponsible, for Parliament neither knew nor 
cared about colonial matters : the real power was 
in the hands of under secretaries and clerks, and 
the result of the whole was ignorance, negligence, 
and vacillation as ' three inseparable accidents of 
our system of colonial government ', and a Colonial 
Office characterized by ' rashness, ignorance, in- 
discretion, incapacity V 

As against this wholesale condemnation, it is 
interesting to note the passages in the Government 
of Dependencies, in which Cornewall Lewis, a con- 
temporary of Molesworth and Buller, refers to the 
advantage of having a Colonial Office. He points 
out that the States of ancient times had no public 

1 Selected Speeches of Sir William Mdesworth, edited by Professor 
Egerton, pp. 13-14, 232, 239-40, 325, 353. 


office, and no public officer, specially charged to 
superintend and control the governments of their 
dependencies, and the conduct of the governors; 
and considers that such an office or such an officer 
would have made for amelioration of the govern- 
ment of the dependent communities, and there- 
fore for consolidation of the Empire to which they 
belonged. ' The industry and ability of Cicero 
would have been employed far more advantage- 
ously to the provincials, if he had filled an office 
of this sort, than they were in his prosecution of 
Verres.' x It is a commonplace of Roman history 
that the provinces fared better under the Empire 
than under the Republic, and under the Emperor 
than under the Senate, partly because there were 
not such frequent changes of governors, but mainly 
because there was a stronger and more sympathetic 
control over them at head-quarters. Lewis goes 
on to mention the Spanish Council of the Indies 
as the first Colonial Office, ' the first example of 
a separate public department in a dominant 
country for the management of dependencies,' 
and credits it with at any rate some measure of 
efficiency and regard for the native races. He then 
sums up the value of a Colonial Office in the follow- 
ing passage : 

' If it be assumed that colonial and other depen- 
dencies are to remain in a state of dependence, it 
cannot be doubted that they, on the whole, derive 
advantage from the existence of a public depart- 
ment in the dominant country, specially charged 

1 Government of Dependencies (1891 ed.), pp. 162-4; see also 
pp. 119 note and 149. 


with the superintendence of their political con- 
cerns. The existence of such a department tends 
to dimmish the main obstacles to the good govern- 
ment of a dependency, viz. the ignorance and the 
indifference of the dominant country respecting 
its affairs ; and to supply the qualities requisite 
for its good government, viz. knowledge of its 
affairs and care for them. If the existence of such 
a department tends to involve the affairs of the 
dependency in the party contests of the dominant 
country, it is to be remembered that this very evil 
has its good side ; inasmuch as the public atten- 
tion is thereby attracted to the dependency, and 
the interest of some portion of the dominant people 
is awakened to the promotion of its welfare.' 

Lewis wrote of a Colonial Office in the abstract, 
while Molesworth castigated the actual Colonial 
Office of the day. Moreover, Lewis was consider- 
ing only the case of dependencies which are to 
remain dependencies, in other words, Crown Colo- 
nies, whereas Molesworth dealt mainly, though not 
exclusively, with the case of what are now the 
self-governing dominions. Still the difference in 
the two men's views is striking and instructive. 
To Molesworth, control from Downing Street was 
an abomination, to Lewis it was, at any rate in 
capable hands, a beneficial safeguard. It need 
not be said that Lord Durham, prompted no 
doubt by Buller, approached more nearly to 
Molesworth's point of view than to that of Corne- 
wall Lewis, but on the one hand Durham was not 
concerned in any way with Crown Colonies, and 
on the other his condemnation of the Colonial 
Office is not so wholesale nor so bitter as that of 
Molesworth. He deals with the subject more 


especially in relation to Lower Canada (ii. 101-10), 
and characteristically attacks the existing system 
on account of the weakness which resulted from 
it. The side-note to the beginning of the passage 
is ' Want of vigorous administration of Royal Pre- 
rogative ', and the argument runs : The Governor 
of the colony is supposed to represent the Sove- 
reign, but he is in fact a mere subordinate of the 
Secretary of State, receiving instructions not only 
as to the general line of policy to be pursued, but 
also as to details. Being the tool of the Home 
Government, he is the centre of attacks from the 
popular party in the Colony, and naturally throws 
the responsibility as far as possible upon the Home 
Government, and does little or nothing without 
referring home for instructions. Thus the Exe- 
cutive on the spot loses all vigour and initiative, 
action is enfeebled by distance and delay, ' and 
the colony has, in every crisis of danger, and 
almost every detail of local management, felt 
the mischief of having its Executive authority 
exercised on the other side of the Atlantic.' 
On the other side of the Atlantic again, the 
British public are wholly ignorant of colonial 
conditions, so are the large majority of members 
of Parliament ; and, except on the occasion of 
some great colonial crisis, ' responsibility to Parlia- 
ment, or to the public opinion of Great Britain, 
would be positively mischievous, if it were not 
impossible.' The Secretaries of State are being 
constantly changed on party grounds, which have 
nothing whatever to do with the colonies : they 
therefore have no time to learn their business, and 


consequently the management of the colonies rest s 
with 'the permanent but utterly irresponsible 
members of the office '. Thus, in the first place, 
there is no responsibility anywhere for colonial 
administration under the existing system ; in the 
second place, the business of the Colonial Office is 
so multifarious that, in his short tenure of office, 
the Secretary of State cannot master it himself ; 
in the third place, his advisers have no first-hand 
local knowledge ; and in the fourth place, the con- 
stant changes of Secretaries of State mean constant 
change of policy, so that to ignorance is added 
vacillation as an accompaniment of colonial ad- 
ministration ; finally, there is superadded a general 
secrecy as to the motives and purposes of the 
rulers, resulting (to quote the side-note to the 
passage) in ' ignorance of the people as to the 
proceedings of their government '. 

In a later passage (ii. 192) referring more especi- 
ally to Upper Canada, Lord Durham reverts to 
the injury done to a colony by allowing the policy 
of its administration to depend upon political 
changes at home. The general feeling in the pro- 
vince was, he tells us, that 'they ask for greater 
firmness of purpose in their rulers, and a more 
defined and consistent policy on the part of the 
government ; something, in short, that will make 
all parties feel that an order of things has been 
established to which it is necessary that they 
should conform themselves, and which is not to 
be subject to any unlocked for and sudden in- 
terruption consequent upon some unforeseen move 
in the game of politics in England '. 


Many years have now passed since all parties 
and all schools of thought in this country recog- 
nized, that in the case of the white communities 
in the British Empire, responsibility for good or 
bad government must be vested in the people on 
the spot; but, though Lord Durham treated of 
the Colonial Office only in reference to these com- 
munities, it is impossible to estimate how far the 
Colonial Office deserved the blame which men like 
Molesworth attached to it, without taking into 
consideration the Crown Colonies also. In the 
first place, it is difficult to suppose that this office, 
under the guidance of Sir James Stephen, and 
with men like Sir Henry Taylor and Sir T. F. 
Elliot, either in it or connected with it, was 
abnormally bad, worse than other public offices 
in England at the time. The age was ripe for a 
change of system as regards Canada and Australia, 
and the change was carried out ; but it does not 
follow either that responsible government could 
usefully have been granted at a much earlier date, 
or that the Colonial Office in particular was to 
blame for withholding it till Lord Durham's time. 
In the second place, the grounds on which Moles- 
worth condemned the Colonial Office as absolutely 
hopeless and impossible have, as regards the Crown 
Colonies, continued to exist in a greater or less 
degree down to the present day, and, notwith- 
standing, England, and the Empire, and the Colonial 
Office, and the world generally have gone on very 
comfortably all the same. There are still the ob- 
vious disadvantages arising from constant changes 
of Secretaries of State : the duties thrown on each 

1352-1 T 


Secretary of State in turn are infinitely more multi- 
farious than whose which Molesworth declared 
that no one man could adequately discharge : as 
a necessary consequence, much responsibility still 
devolves, and must always devolve, upon the per- 
manent advisers of the Secretary of State ; and 
in their case want of first-hand personal know- 
ledge of local conditions is still though not to 
so great an extent as before almost inevitable 
as regards some outlying parts of the Empire. 
It is true that steam and electricity are mini- 
mizing distance so far as it is a factor in mis- 
government ; but the same forces have infinitely 
multiplied the facilities for constant interference 
from home, whether by the Colonial Office or by 
the House of Commons. Molesworth, in his hatred 
of an irresponsible bureaucracy at a distance, 
advocated, even in the cases of Crown Colonies, 
establishing responsibility in the colony rather 
than at home ; but he admitted that such colonies 
were not suitable for representative institutions, 
and therefore, on his own showing, the power, if 
removed from the Home Government, must have 
been vested either in a despotic governor, or in 
a governor advised by a white oligarchy, with the 
prospect of reproducing the evils of Roman pro- 
vincial administration under the republican regime. 
It is too often left out of sight that government 
from a distance is not all evil, especially where 
coloured men are concerned. It means, or ought 
to mean, government of coloured races without 
being influenced by colour prejudices ; and if it is 
coupled, as it is in the case of the British Crown 


Colonies, with the grant of wide discretion to the 
governors and officers on the spot, a form of govern- 
ment results which, tried by the test of the greatest 
happiness of the greatest number, will bear com- 
parison with any political system in the history of 
the world. 

The British Empire contains probably a greater 
number of diverse elements than any association 
of peoples and races has ever contained, and the 
essence of the Home Government is the party 
system. The interests of the whole require, on 
the one hand, that full play for the diverse elements 
should be combined with some general rules, some 
approach to uniformity in the main lines of public 
administration ; and on the other, that the constant 
changes at head-quarters, which the party system 
involves, should be counterbalanced by one or more 
institution^ which make for tradition and con- 
tinuity. Under the Crown, which is the one great 
bond of the Empire, an office like the Colonial 
Office, putting its value at the lowest, and omitting 
all its work of direct administration, discharges an 
absolutely necessary function in supplying some 
measure of uniformity and of continuity. The 
Colonial Office has always been and always will be 
easy to attack, but to those who stop to think it is 
110 less easy to defend. 



THE questions, how far Lord Durham read the 
past correctly, how far he formed a correct fore- 
cast of the future, and how far his recommenda- 
tions were adopted, have to a large extent been 
answered already. 

Omitting points of detail, and instances of 
exaggerated language, and noting once more that 
the accuracy of Lord Durham's account of parties 
and conditions in Upper Canada was most strongly 
and categorically challenged by both Houses of 
the provincial Legislature at the time, 1 it seems 
fair to say that the main fault in his retrospect 
was the amount of blame which he attached to the 
British Government, especially in regard to Lower 
Canada, although he speaks of ' the uniform good 
intentions which the Imperial Government has 
clearly evinced towards every class and every race 
in the colony ' (ii. 100). It cannot be too often 
repeated that he had in him something of a 
Strafford or a Cromwell : he understood despotism 
and he understood self-government, but he had 
no patience with half-way compromise ; and from 

1 The Report of the Select Committee of the House of Assembly is 
given in the Parliamentary Paper No. 289, June 1839, ' Copies or Extracts 
of Correspondence relative to the Affairs of Canada,' and the Report of 
the Select Committee of the Legislative Council will be found at pp. 173- 
88 of Canadian Constitutional Development (Egerton and Grant). 


this point of view he reviewed and censured back 
history, judging the men of 1791 or earlier in the 
light of 1838. ' It is difficult to conceive,' he writes 
(ii. 76), ' what could have been their theory of 
government, who imagined that in any colony 
of England a body invested with the name and 
character of a representative Assembly, could be 
deprived of any of those powers, which, in the 
opinion of Englishmen, are inherent in a popular 
legislature.' In this passage he talks of the 
Assembly being deprived of powers which it had 
never possessed. There is no hint or suggestion 
that the constitution of 1791 was a distinct step 
forward ; that representative institutions without 
responsible government were not unknown else- 
where in the British Empire, as for instance in the 
West Indies ; that the constitution of 1791 may 
have been, and probably was, a wise preparatory 
stage, especially in view of the fact that French 
Canadians had never in the whole course of their 
history known any kind of political representa- 
tion. It was enough for him that the system was 
faulty, as tried by the standard of his own day, 
and, this being the case, he took up the position 
that the people of Canada had been deprived of 
rights which all men ought to enjoy. 

Still more open to criticism is the interesting 
passage (ii. 62-71) in which he condemns the 
division of Canada into two provinces, and the 
policy pursued towards French Canada, as a policy 
which was mistaken in the first place, and in the 
second place not consistently followed up. 

He lays down that, after the United States 


had become independent, the British Government 
adopted towards their remaining possessions in 
North America a policy of Divide et Impera : that 
their object was ' to isolate the inhabitants of the 
British from those of the revolted colonies ' : to 
govern the colonies which still belonged to Great 
Britain ' by means of division, and to break them 
down as much as possible into petty isolated com- 
munities, incapable of combination, and possessing 
no sufficient strength for individual resistance to 
the Empire '. As an illustration of the intent to 
isolate Canada from the United States, he quotes 
instructions which were given by the Government 
to prohibit settlement and maintain a belt of 
woodland on the American frontier south of the 
St. Lawrence, whereas these instructions were 
given on military advice, and for purely military 
reasons, in the light of the war of 1812. l To the 
same imaginary intention of keeping up division 
and preventing consolidation, he attributes the 
division of the Province of Quebec by the Act of 
1791, and then he proceeds to attack the Govern- 
ment for not having fully carried out the policy 
of separation which was embodied in the Act. 
His argument is, either French Canada might 
have been left entirely to the French, or it might 
have been gradually but surely denationalized and 
incorporated in British colonization. The latter 
was the course which he maintained should have 
been adopted ; but, the other alternative having 
been chosen, the policy of French Canada for the 
French Canadians should have been rigidly adhered 

1 See above, p. 203, and note 2 to vol. ii, p. 65. 


to. ' The province should have been set apart to 
be wholly French, if it was not to be rendered com- 
pletely English.' The Home Government, however, 
while trying to preserve the French character of 
the Lower Province, encouraged British immigra- 
tion into it ; there was a mixture of French and 
British laws and land tenures and religions and so 
forth ; with the result that the province became 
neither one thing nor the other, and was the scene 
of discord of races. 

It was hardly true to facts, or fair to the Govern- 
ment of Great Britain, to represent it as inspired 
by the principle of Divide et Impera in its dealings 
with the British North American provinces ; nor 
was this policy in the minds of those who framed 
and carried the Act of 1791. It is true that that 
Act divided Canada into two provinces, one mainly 
French, the other British ; but the object which 
was aimed at was, not so much isolation of the 
French Canadians, as gradual assimilation of the 
two races to each other, by letting them grow up 
side by side, without overlapping too much, until 
they knew each other better. Again, it was not 
true to facts, though it was convenient as a genera- 
lization for a treatise, to lay down that there are 
only two methods of dealing with a conquered 
territory either the whole of this or the whole 
of that. Practical statesmen find it necessary to 
compromise ; a thorough policy is not often desir- 
able, and, when a House of Commons has to 
be consulted, almost impossible. Lord Durham, 
beyond question, put his finger upon the weak spot 
in British colonial policy, when he emphasized the 


evils which arise from not following out one course 
consistently, but this weakness had not been 
exceptionally conspicuous in the case of British 
North America. There had been, no doubt, change 
and vacillation, as for instance in regard to the 
abortive Bill of 1822 for re-uniting the two Canadas ; 
but there had been no violent reversals of policy, 
such as have marked the history of South Africa. 
On the whole, one Secretary of State after another, 
on either side of the House, had striven to con- 
ciliate the French Canadians, while not conceding 
their full demands. They had compromised, they 
had tried to hold the balance even between the 
contending parties and races, they had not pro- 
nounced for one or for the other. Lord Durham 
blamed them for not having steadily and with 
a whole heart taken the British side, and sub- 
ordinated the French ; but such a policy could 
have succeeded only on two hypotheses, first, that 
the Home Government had determined to run 
counter to the British instinct of fair play and 
generosity to the conquered, which after all is 
nearly the most valuable asset that a ruling race 
can possess ; and secondly, that party govern- 
ment in England would have permitted the con- 
tinuance for at least a generation of a policy of 
coercion in Canada. Neither hypothesis would 
ever have come to pass, and the practical impossi- 
bility of what Lord Durham would have advised 
invalidates his criticism of what actually was done. 
The Home Government showed little strength 
and little foresight in dealing with Canada, but 
they were consistent in letting natural forces have 


their play, and in giving as much rope as possible 
to the French Canadians short of self-government. 
Lord Durham saw when the time had come for 
self-government ; and he saw what might have been 
an ideal solution, if England had not been England, 
and the French Canadians had not had a natural 
desire to remain French Canadians ; but, if the 
actual conditions of the case are taken into con- 
sideration, his retrospect of the past is not good 

If Lord Durham were now alive, he would 
probably maintain that, so far as he failed to fore- 
cast the future of Canada correctly, it was because 
his recommendations were not fully carried out ; 
but in any case it must be admitted that he wholly 
underrated the strength and the tenacity of the 
French Canadian race. He looked upon absorp- 
tion into Anglo-Saxon surroundings as the inevit- 
able fate of the French Canadians. He writes of 
* the vain endeavour to preserve a French Canadian 
nationality in the midst of Anglo-American colonies 
and states ' (ii. 70) ; and again, ' It is but a ques- 
tion of time and mode ; it is but to determine 
whether the small number of French who now 
inhabit Lower Canada shall be made English, under 
a Government which can protect them, or whether 
the process shall be delayed until a much larger 
number shall have to undergo, at the rude hands 
of its uncontrolled rivals, the extinction of a nation- 
ality strengthened and embittered by continu- 
ance' (ii. 292). It is interesting to contrast this 
view with the forecast made by Governor Carleton 
in the year 1767. There were then but few English 


in French Canada, for Canada had only lately been 
transferred to British keeping, yet Carleton con- 
templated that the superiority of the French to 
the English in numbers would not decrease but 
increase. ' Barring a catastrophe shocking to 
think of,' he wrote to Lord Shelburne, * this 
country must, to the end of time, be peopled by 
the Canadian race, who already have taken such 
firm root, and got to so great a height, that any 
new stock transplanted will be totally hid, and 
imperceptible amongst them, except in the Towns 
of Quebec and Montreal.' 1 Lord Durham notes 
the fecundity of the French Canadians, but notes 
it only as leading to further subdivision of estates 
and deterioration of the people, and he speaks 
of the race as destitute of invigorating qualities. 
His British predilections, his imperialism, and his 
political views, all, it would seem, coloured his 
vision in regard to the French Canadians. He 
stated in so many words that their race was in a 
condition of hopeless inferiority to the English : he 
desired to submerge it, for constructive reasons,' 
in order to produce one great uniform British 
nationality : and, as a Radical, he had no hope of 
any good thing coming out of the intense con- 
servatism and feudal institutions of French Canada. 
Possibly he might have modified his views, 
had he stayed longer in Canada and studied the 
French Canadians in normal times. He came and 
went at a time when race animosity was unduly 
accentuated; and probably on the one hand he 
exaggerated the intensity of the feeling, while on 

1 Shortt and Doughty, p. 198. See note 1, vol. ii, p. 70. 


the other he erred in thinking that it could be 
extinguished by a policy which aimed at eradicating 
the nationality. The analogies, which he quotes, 
seem to show that he did not sufficiently estimate 
how much the preservation or the extinction of 
nationality is a question of degree. He takes the 
case of Louisiana, but the French in the province 
of Quebec held it by far greater numbers and by 
far longer tenure than they held Louisiana ; while 
the Dutch in New York, to whom Lord Durham 
also refers, had only a fifty years' tenure of Man- 
hattan Island and the Hudson valley before they 
were brought under British rule. He might have 
noted that the Dutch in South Africa absorbed 
the handful of Huguenots who settled among them, 
but this illustration also would not have been in 
point. From the dawn of colonization in North 
America the valley of the St. Lawrence had been 
the home of the French, and the history of Canada 
had testified abundantly to their stubbornness 
and their strength. In the year 1838 or 1839 it 
was too late to talk of denationalizing a people 
who had made the land their own ; and it was 
hopeless to think that efforts to do so would 
extinguish the bitterness of race feeling. It was 
left to Lord Elgin, while carrying out in full Lord 
Durham's views of responsible government, and 
sharing Lord Durham's confidence that respon- 
sible government would make for loyalty and not 
for separation, to repudiate at the same time his 
father-in-law's doctrine that the French should be 
denationalized, and to advocate free play for their 
language and their usages. Later history has 


proved how far from the fact was Lord Durham's 
estimate that the French Canadian nationality 
must necessarily be absorbed ; for, having been 
left to its destiny under a system of popular 
government, it has more than held its own within 
and even beyond the province of Quebec. 

How far race antagonism in Canada has been 
diminished since Lord Durham's time, and to what 
degree French and English have come closer to 
each other, it would be difficult to estimate with 
any approach to accuracy. French are French, 
and British are British, and will remain so till 
the end. On the other hand, modern life makes 
for greater courtesy and forbearance as between 
peoples and races. French and English have 
lived side by side for seventy more years since 
Lord Durham wrote, and have acquired habits and 
traditions of co-operation ; and most important 
point of all the confederation of Canada by the 
British North America Act of 1867 has completely 
altered the position, for, to quote once more the 
words of Chief Justice Smith's wise letter of 1790, 
that Act has erected ' a Power upon the Continent 
itself, to control all its own little Republics V and 
race difficulties are not increased by appeal to, 
and resentment against, a Legislature on the other 
side of the Atlantic. 

A second point in regard to which, if Lord 
Durham were, so to speak, to be pinned down to 
the wording of his Report, he did not form a correct 
forecast, of the future, is the extent to which he 
held that colonial self-government can be limited, 

1 Canadian Constitutional Development (Egerton and Grant), p. 105. 


and a line be drawn between matters of imperial 
concern. It may well be answered that it is not 
fair to criticize his words in this respect, as being 
intended to hold true for all time ; that he took 
conditions as they were ; and under those con- 
ditions laid down limits to the freedom of the 
colony on the one hand, and the interference of 
the mother country on the other ; but that it 
does not follow that, under the altered conditions 
of later times, he would have upheld those limits 
as unalterable. It has been seen that he enu- 
merates (ii. 282) ' the constitution of the form of 
government the regulation of foreign relations, 
and of trade with the mother country, the other 
British Colonies, and foreign nations and the dis- 
posal of the public lands' as 'the only points on 
which the mother country requires a control ' ; and 
he notes that ' a perfect subordination, on the part 
of the colony, on these points, is secured by the 
advantages which it finds in the continuance of 
its connexion with the Empire '. He wrote in the 
light of his own day, when colonies were not 
dominions, when the small had not become great, 
and could not stand alone. It would be pettifogging 
to tie his memory to the exact words. But it is 
a fair criticism to say that, while he laid stress 
on self-government as creating a national exis- 
tence, he did not seem fully to recognize that when 
once an oversea community has been endowed 
with national institutions, it is difficult, if not 
impossible, to set a limit to its growth as a nation, 
or permanently to withhold any subject as out- 
side its scope. Free Trade had not come in 


England when he wrote ; he does not refer to it, 
but it was well on the way ; and, when it came, 
it profoundly modified the colonial problem ; but, 
apart from a particular national movement, the 
effects of which he might or might not have fore- 
seen, there is no indication that he at all foresaw 
to what responsible government was going to lead, 
and to what it inevitably must lead. Cornewall 
Lewis's reasoning, in the passage which has already 
been quoted, is unanswerable. * If the govern- 
ment of the dominant country substantially govern 
the dependency, the representative body cannot 
substantially govern it ; and, conversely, if the 
dependency be substantially governed by the 
representative body, it cannot be substantially 
governed by the government of the dominant 
country. A self-governing dependency (supposing 
the dependency not to be virtually independent) 
is a contradiction in terms.' J After responsible 
government had been given to Canada, it was 
substantially governed by the representative body 
of Canada, and ceased to be substantially governed 
by England. Lord Durham, to judge from his 
words, seemed to think that the substantial govern- 
ment could be divided, and that Canada, while 
becoming a nation, could remain a subordinate 
nation ; but history has abundantly shown that, 
starting from the grant of self-government, there 
can be but one line of movement, from subordina- 
tion to complete equality. It is true taking his 
reservations that the Constitution of Canada 
still depends upon Imperial legislation; that the 

1 Government of Dependencies, p. '289. 


external relations of Canada in political matters 
are still under Imperial control; that, while the 
self-governing dominions have for half a century 
and more been left to settle their own tariffs, it has 
never been admitted in principle that they can 
differentiate at will; that control of the Public 
Lands in Canada was not reserved to the Imperial 
government because that government was in effect 
already pledged to concede it. But the broad fact 
remains that the Canadian self-government of to- 
day is not what Lord Durham recommended, and 
the Canada of to-day is more nearly an allied 
than a subordinate nation. 

A third point on which Lord Durham failed to 
forecast the future has been sufficiently laboured 
already. It relates to the actual extent of the 
Canadian Dominion. He contemplated a dominion, 
but consisting only of the present eastern pro- 
vinces. He did not look from sea to sea, a vision 
to which even a lesser prophet than himself might 
have been moved. But without further criticizing 
his outlook, it is time to note how far his recom- 
mendations were adopted. 

The recommendation that the two Canadian 
provinces should be reunited was carried out, but 
not as he had intended. He had expressed him- 
self (ii. 323, 324) as entirely opposed to ' the mere 
amalgamation of the Houses of Assembly of the 
two Provinces', and also 'to every plan that has 
been proposed for giving an equal number of 
members to the two Provinces '. He had con- 
templated complete fusion of the two provinces, 
and new electoral divisions formed by a Parlia- 


nientary Commission, with a view to ' giving 
representation, as near as may be, in proportion 
to population '. He had, no doubt, in his mind 
the Union Bill of 1822, which had proposed to 
re-unite the two provinces on the basis of at first 
simply joining together the existing members of the 
two Legislative Councils and of the two Assem- 
blies, with a provision for the future that the 
elected representatives for each province should 
not exceed sixty. To this method of reunion, 
which would continue to treat Canada as two 
provinces and not as one, Lord Durham was 
entirely opposed ; and when the Melbourne Ministry 
first handled his Report and first drafted a Reunion 
Bill, they were inclined to share his views. On 
the 3rd of June 1839, Lord John Russell stated 
in the House of Commons that ' It is our opinion 
generally, that you ought not to lay down any 
precise number of representatives for Lower Canada 
and for Upper Canada V but, after going through 
various drafts, and being recast in Canada, the 
Union Bill, as it became law in 1840, provided in 
its 12th section that in the Legislative Assembly of 
the new province of Canada, Lower Canada and 
Upper Canada should have an equal number of 
representatives, and the effect of the subsequent 
sections of the Act was to give forty-two members 
to either of the two late provinces. The Act 
empowered the new Legislature to alter the system 
of representation by a two-thirds majority in 
both houses, but the net result was to federate 
Lower and Upper Canada rather than to fuse 

1 Hansard's Parliamentary Debated, vol. xlvii, pp. 12U4-G. 


them ; the line of least resistance was followed, 
and the complete union which Lord Durham had 
desired was not carried out. 

The only provision in the Act which at all 
reflected Lord Durham's attitude towards the 
French Canadian nationality, was the 41st section, 
which enacted that English alone should be the 
language of the legislative records, and this section 
was repealed by a Provincial Act of 1848, passed 
in Lord Elgin's time. From the outset both French 
and English were used in the debates, and the first 
Speaker of the Assembly, after the union had come 
into existence, was a French Canadian. Nor did 
the Act contain any provision such as Lord Dur- 
ham had recommended, and such as was subse- 
quently included in the Confederation Act of 1867, 
to enable other British North American provinces 
to enter the union. In short, the Act of 1840 
was a compromise Act, falling far short of the 
root and branch policy which Lord Durham had 
sketched out. 

It has been seen that his policy prescribed that 
the union of the two provinces should be accom- 
panied by the grant of responsible government, 
limited by various restrictions, and that Lord John 
Russell and his colleagues were not prepared to 
accept in full either the principle or the practice of 
responsible government. Nor was Poulett Thom- 
son, afterwards Lord Sydenham, whom the Whigs 
selected to be Governor-General and to carry 
through the union. But they were all moving in 
Lord Durham's direction : all were agreed to try 
and maintain harmony between the executive and 

1352-1 U 


the legislative authorities, by employing in the 
service of the Government men who had the con- 
fidence of the people. Lord John Russell went far 
towards responsible government when, in a dis- 
patch of the 16th of October 1839, he laid down 
that the high executive officers, such as the Colonial 
Secretary and the Treasurer, must not in future 
be considered to hold their posts by a permanent 
tenure, but should be liable to be changed with 
the change of Governor, or to * be called upon to 
retire from the public service, as often as any 
sufficient motives of public policy may suggest the 
expediency of that measure V In September 1841 
the Assembly of United Canada passed resolutions, 
said to have been drafted by Lord Sydenham him- 
self, the first of which laid down 'that the most 
important, as well as the most undoubted, of the 
political rights of the people of this Province is 
that of having a Provincial Parliament for the pro- 
tection of their liberties, for the exercise of a con- 
stitutional influence over the Executive departments 
of their government, and for, legislation upon all 
matters of internal government ' ; while a subse- 
quent resolution declared that, in order to preserve 
harmony, ' the chief advisers of the representative 
of the Sovereign, constituting a Provincial adminis- 
tration under him, ought to be men possessed of 
the confidence of the Representatives of the people '. 2 
No legislation was needed in order to take the 

1 See Canadian Constitutional Development (Egerton and Grant), 
pp. 270-2. 

1 See Houston's Documents illustrative of the Canadian Constitution, 
pp. 303-4. 


further step, to make the executive a purely 
parliamentary executive, to give full scope to 
party government, and in purely Canadian matters 
to constitute the advisers of the Governor, as 
representing the majority of the people, the real 
rulers of Canada. This step was taken by Lord 
Elgin in or about the year 1848. The same date 
may be given to the completion of responsible 
government in the Maritime Provinces, 1 and it 
followed very shortly afterwards in Newfoundland, 
Australia, and New Zealand. 

Among the restrictions on responsible govern- 
ment, Lord Durham designed reform of the Legis- 
lative Council, which should then ' act as an useful 
check on the popular branch of the Legislature ' 
(ii. 326-7) ; but, as has been noted, he left to others 
to decide on what lines the Council should be 
revised. The result was that no change was made, 
and that the Union Act left the constitution of the 
Second Chamber as it had been framed in the Act 
of 1791, the members of the Council being nomi- 
nated for life. The section of the 1791 Act, how- 
ever, which gave power to the Crown to attach to 
hereditary titles of honour a right to be summoned 
to the Legislative Council, found no place in the 
Act of 1840. This latter Act was amended in 1854 
by another Imperial Act, which empowered the 
Canadian Legislature to alter the constitution of 
the Legislative Council; and under the authority 
thus given a provincial law was passed in 1856, 

1 1848 in the case of Nova Scotia and New Brunswick ; 1851 in that 
of Prince Edward Island ; 1855 in that of Newfoundland. See Keith, 
Responsible Oovernment in the Dominions, pp. 8-9. 



making the Legislative Council an elective body. 
But under the British North America Act of 1867 
the elective principle was discarded, for the mem- 
bers of the senate are, as were the legislative 
councillors under the Acts of 1791 and 1840, 
nominated to hold their places for life. 

The 57th section of the Union Act embodied 
Lord Durham's recommendation that ' no money 
votes should be allowed to originate without the 
previous consent of the Crown ' (ii. 328), and 
a similar provision was included in the British 
North America Act of 1867. The Union Act also 
followed his Report in charging against the con- 
solidated revenue fund of the united provinces an 
ample Civil List. This list was divided into two 
schedules. The first schedule provided 45,000 in 
permanence to cover the salaries of Governor and 
Lieutenant-Governor, the salaries and pensions of 
the judges, and the general cost of administration 
of justice. The second schedule provided 30,000 
during the life of the Queen and for five years after- 
wards, to cover the cost of the salaries and pensions 
of the principal executive officers. 

In the year 1846 the Canadian Legislature 
passed an Act for granting a Civil List to Her 
Majesty, the provisions of which were in lieu of 
the Civil List sections and schedules of the Union 
Act ; and in the following year, 1847, an Imperial 
statute 1 gave validity to this provincial Act, and 
thereby superseded, so far as the Civil List was 
concerned, the terms of the Union Act. On this 
footing the Civil List continued in existence until 
1 10 & 11 Viet. c. 71. 


the passing of the British North America Act of 
1867, when it finally disappeared; 1 but the salaries 
and pensions of the judges, as well as the salaries 
of the ministers, are still guaranteed by permanent 
Acts of the Dominion Parliament, and the 99th 
section of the British North America Act provides 
that the judges of the superior courts shall hold 
office during good behaviour, removable only by 
the Governor-General on address of the Senate and 
the House of Commons. The judges therefore are 
given the independent position and the security 
of tenure upon which Lord Durham insisted. 

In return for an adequate Civil List, Lord 
Durham proposed to hand over to the control of 
the Legislature all the Crown revenues except those 
derived from public lands ; but in accordance with 
what had been a long standing offer of the Home 
Government, the 54th section of the Union Act 
surrendered in return for the Civil List the terri- 
torial and other revenues of the Crown, which 
included the public lands, and the same provision 
was included in the provincial Civil List Act of 
1846, validated by the Imperial Act of 1847, to 
which reference has been made above. Finally, 
the complete control of the Canadian Government 
over the public lands of the province was assured 
by the Imperial Act of 1852, which cleared up 
a question of legal ownership, as has already been 
explained. 2 Thus the whole of Lord Durham's 
elaborate scheme for keeping the public lands of 
Canada under the authority of the Imperial 

1 Under sections 102 and 126 of the British North America Act. 
1 See above, p. 185. 


Government, and disposing of them on the lines 
laid down by Gibbon Wakefield, was stillborn. 1 

Under the head of public lands should be noted 
the action which was taken with regard to the 
clergy reserves. Lord Durham, in discussing the 
subject (ii. 173-9), contented himself with the 
recommendation that all provisions in Imperial 
Acts relating to the application of the clergy 
reserves and the funds arising from them should 
be repealed, and that the disposal of the funds 
should be left to the local Legislature ; and in the 
summary of his recommendations at the end of 
his Report, he suggested (ii. 326-9) that the same 
Imperial Act which carried out the union of the 
provinces and the accompanying changes, should 
repeal the existing provisions relating to the clergy 
reserves. Before, however, the Union Act was 
passed, Poulett Thomson had already moved in the 
matter. Shortly after his arrival in Canada, he 

1 The case was summed up as follows in Lord John Russell's instruc- 
tions to the Land and Emigration Commissioners of January 14, 1840. 
' With regard to British North America, the case stands as follows. 
In Upper Canada and in New Brunswick, the sale and management of 
waste lands is vested by local enactments in certain local authorities, 
with whom the Crown has no right of interference. In Nova Scotia 
and in Newfoundland, there is every reason to anticipate that similar 
laws will be shortly passed in pursuance of offers made by the Crown 
to assent to them. In the present state of affairs in Lower Canada, 
this, in common with many other questions, must be regarded as in 
abeyance. In general, therefore, it may be stated that you will have 
no power to contract for the sale of lands situate in British North 
America, or in any of the adjacent islands ' (House of Commons Paper* 
Colonial Land Board, February 4, 1840, p. 5). 

The Canadian Legislature in their first session after the Union, 
1841, passed ' An Act for disposal of Public .Lands ', 4 & 5 Viet. c. 100, 
which, among other provisions, absolutely prohibited free grants of 


induced the Upper Canada Legislature, in the session 
of 1839-40, to pass a Bill which devoted the revenues 
derivable from the sale of clergy reserve lands ex- 
clusively to religious purposes, and secured to the 
churches of England and Scotland one-half of the 
future proceeds, leaving the remainder to be dis- 
tributed for the support of religious instruction 
among the different Christian denominations in 
the province, in proportion to the numbers of their 
respective adherents. This Bill, when sent home, 
was disallowed as being ultra vires; and in the 
session of 1840 the Imperial Parliament, in addition 
to passing the Union Act, the 42nd section of 
which dealt with ecclesiastical and Crown rights, 
passed also a special Act to provide for the sale 
of the clergy reserves in Canada, and for the dis- 
tribution of the proceeds. 1 Under the provisions 
of this Act, two -thirds of the proceeds of the lands 
sold prior to the passing of the Act were assigned 
to the Church of England and one-third to the 
Church of Scotland ; while of the annual proceeds 
of future sales, one-third was appropriated to the 
Church of England, one-sixth to the Church of Scot- 
land, and one-half was to be applied for purposes of 
public worship and religious instruction in Canada. 
Poulett Thomson, in sending home his own Act, had 
intimated that public opinion in Upper Canada 
considered it to be too favourable to the Church 
of England, and that the majority of the people 
were in favour of applying the proceeds of the 
reserves to education or to general State purposes ; 
and when he received the Imperial Act of 1840, 

1 3 & 4 Viet. c. 78. 


which was still more favourable to the Church of 
England, he expressed a strong opinion as to the 
injustice of the settlement. The sections of the 
Constitutional Act of 1791, which originally created 
the clergy reserves, gave power to the local Legis- 
latures, under certain restrictions, to vary or repeal 
the provisions respecting the reserves ; and, 
though this power was taken away by the Act of 
1840, Lord Durham's view that the question was 
one to be settled in Canada was widely shared in 
England. Accordingly, in 1853, the Imperial 
Parliament passed a further Act l empowering the 
Canadian Legislature to deal with the matter ; and 
in the following year, 1854, a Canadian law finally 
set to rest this long standing grievance and con- 
troversy, by secularizing the reserves and the 
moneys accruing from them. This law was entitled 
' An Act to make better provision for the appro- 
priation of moneys arising from the lands hereto- 
fore known as the Clergy Reserves by rendering 
them available for municipal purposes '. It was 
an uncompromising Act, for it recited that ' it is 
desirable to remove all semblance of connexion 
between Church and State ', and it did not even 
provide that the moneys in question should be 
applied to education, but handed them over for 
municipal purposes. Still treating Canada as a 
federation of two provinces rather than as a single 
province, it provided that the revenues of the clergy 
reserves should be paid over to an Upper Canada 
and a Lower Canada municipalities fund, and 
should be divided among the municipalities in 

1 16 Viet. c. 21. 


proportion to population. On the day that this 
measure became law, the assent of the Crown was 
also given to another far-reaching Act passed by 
the Canadian Legislature, 'for the abolition of 
feudal rights and duties in Lower Canada ', which 
put an end to the seigniorial system. 

Lord Durham proposed (ii. 323-6) that the Parlia- 
mentary Commission, which should be appointed 
to form the future electoral districts in United 
Canada, and to determine the number and allot- 
ment of members, should also form a plan of 'local 
government by elective bodies subordinate to the 
General Legislature.' It has been seen that he 
attached paramount importance to the introduc- 
tion of a sound system of municipal and loca*. 
institutions into Canada, and Poulett Thomson 
was, if possible, even more emphatic on the sub- 
ject. In a passage which has already been quoted, 1 
the latter wrote to Lord John Russell urging that 
the provision of machinery by which local taxation 
could be raised for local purposes was a necessary 
complement of the reform by which the initiative 
of money votes in the House of Assembly would 
be confined to the Government ; and that the 
establishment of municipal institutions therefore 
became a necessary part of the Union Bill. Clauses 
creating district councils were accordingly embodied 
in the Bill; but, before it left the House of Commons, 
they were omitted, largely on the suggestion of 
' Bear ' Ellice ; and the Bill, as it became law, con- 
tained one section only the 58th which referred 
to the constitution of townships. The omission of 

1 See above, p. 218. 


the municipal clauses was bitterly resented by 
Poulett Thomson, who wrote in September 1840, 1 
condemning in the strongest possible terms the 
abandonment of what he considered to be a most 
vital part of the Union Bill ; but, before the Act 
was brought into operation, he passed a Local 
Government ordinance in the Special Council of 
Lower Canada, and followed it up, after the Union 
had been proclaimed, by carrying a similar Bill for 
Upper Canada through the Canadian Legislature. 
A few years later the elective element was intro- 
duced more largely into the municipal system which 
he had created in the two provinces. 2 Writing in 
1861, Merivale referred to Upper Canada as the 
only British colony within his knowledge that had 
then an adequate municipal system. ' The same 
organization,' he added, ' is spreading in Lower 
Canada, but has far greater difficulties to contend 
with. Elsewhere, in British North America, muni- 
cipal organization seems to remain in a most 
imperfect state ; and instead of local rates, public 
works and improvements are effected by grants 
from the central legislature ; a system leading 
both to improvidence and to corruption.' ; Under 
the British North America Act of 1867, by the 92nd 
section, ' municipal institutions in the province ' 

1 See his dispatch to the Secretary of State, September 16, 1840 
(Egerton and Grant, pp. 280-7). 

1 See note to Egerton and Grant, p. 288, which states that the 
elective system for municipal officers was introduced for Lower Canada 
in 1845, and for Upper Canada in 1849, and that ' these Acts are still 
the foundation of the municipal systems of the Provinces of Quebec 
and Ontario '. 

1 Lectures on Colonization and Colonies, 1861 ed., Appendix to 
Lecture XXII, p. 653. 


are included among the exclusive powers of the 
Provincial Legislatures. 

Lord Durham's comments and recommendations 
on the subject of emigration bore no fruit, so far 
as emigration was coupled with the disposal of 
public lands as a factor in a great scheme of 
imperial colonization. 

In his instructions to Poulett Thomson, issued 
in September 1839, Lord John Russell referred to 
Lord Durham's Report, as only placing in a clearer 
light the difficulties which existed in the case of 
Canada in the way of raising an emigration fund 
from the sale of Crown lands. 1 But immigration 
into Canada apart from the subject of public 
lands formed the subject of much correspon- 
dence between the Governor- General and the 
Home Government; and in the speech with which 
he opened the Canadian Legislature in the summer 
of 1841, Poulett Thomson announced that the 
Imperial Government was prepared to assist in 
facilitating the passages of immigrants from the 
port of landing in Canada to the places where their- 
labour would be made available. 2 By this time the 
Board of Colonial Land and Emigration Com- 
missioners, established in January 1840, had been 
in operation for more than a year ; and in Lord 
John Russell's initial instructions to them 3 may 
be traced the effects of Lord Durham's powerful 
criticism of the want of adequate safeguards for 

1 See Parliamentary Paper, 1840. Correspondence relative to the 
Affairs of Canada, Part I, p. 9. 
* See Egerton and Grant, p. 291. 
3 House of Commons Paper, February 4, 1840, Colonial Land Board. 


emigrants embarking from the ports of the United 
Kingdom. From this date onwards, the provisions 
of Passenger Acts and Merchant Shipping Acts, 
administered first by the Land and Emigration 
Commissioners, and subsequently by the Board of 
Trade, protected British emigrants when crossing 
the seas ; and ' the collection and diffusion of 
accurate statistical knowledge ' for the benefit of 
Intending Emigrants, which Lord John Russell 
included in the list of duties of the newly-formed 
Board, is now provided, not only by the repre- 
sentatives in this country of the dominions beyond 
the seas, but also by the Emigrants' Information 
Office, established in 1886 by the Imperial Govern- 

The first session of the United Legislature of 
Canada, at the close of which, in September 1841, 
Poulett Thomson, then Lord Sydenham, died, was 
rich in measures dealing with subjects which had 
found a place in Lord Durham's Report. In 
addition to the District Councils Act for Upper 
Canada already mentioned, an Act was passed to 
improve the administration of justice in minor 
civil cases in Lower Canada ; and a Common 
Schools Act was also passed, Poulett Thomson 
having, in his opening speech to the Legislature, 
reminded its members that ' a due provision for the 
education of the people is one of the first duties 
of the State, and in this province, especially, the 
want of it is grievously felt V Under the provi- 
sions of this Act, the newly-created district coun- 
cils of the province were constituted ' Boards of 

1 Egerton and Grant, p. 292. 


Education, but separate schools for the different 
denominations were included under the heading of 
common schools. Various other Education Acts 
followed in later years, and at the present day, 
by the 93rd section of the British North America 
Act of 1867, education under certain restrictions 
is assigned to the Provincial Legislatures, the 
rights of denominational schools in the provinces 
of Ontario and Quebec being adequately safe- 
guarded. Public works received at the outset of 
the Union as much attention as even Lord Durham 
could have desired. In this same first session, the 
Legislature passed an Act creating a Board of 
Works for the whole province ; and an Imperial 
Act of 1842 guaranteed the interest on a loan of 
1^ million sterling to be raised by the Canadian 
Government, for relieving the pressure of immediate 
financial difficulties, and carrying out the works 
which were so sorely needed for the development 
of Canada. 

Lord Durham died in England in 1840. Lord 
Sydenham died in Canada in 1841. In either case, 
humanly speaking, the career was foreshortened, 
yet in a sense in either case the career was com- 
plete. Lord Durham preached his gospel and died ; 
Lord Sydenham, before he too died, set the political 
machine running in the right direction. Then the 
machine went on, the way widened, the views 
widened, men grew up to contemplate a nation, 
and after contemplating to create it. Lord Dur- 
ham's Report gave the inspiration. Sydenham, 
with his combination of strong popular sympathies 
and great business capacity, showed how to begin 


putting principles into practice. The history of 
Canada has been on the whole a history of singular 
good fortune ; and not the least part of this goo'd 
fortune has been, that Lord Durham should have 
been forthcoming at the particular time when he 
went to Canada, and that Lord Sydenham should 
have been available as his successor. It would be 
difficult to find in the chronicles of any country 
two men who, within little more than three years 
in all, did so much to help the coming time. 


How far, it is proposed to ask in conclusion, 
are the doctrines or principles embodied in Lord 
Durham's Report of universal application ? The 
answer consists in summarizing in a very few 
words, and to some extent repeating, what has 
gone before. 

Though Lord Durham laid down in his Report 
far-reaching principles of colonial administration, 
it must always be borne in mind that he was 
primarily concerned with the objects of a special 
mission. He was not thinking of the whole world. 
He was not even thinking of the whole British 
Empire. He had his eyes fixed upon the British 
provinces in North America, to which he had been 
sent ; and, when he raised his eyes, his gaze fell 
upon the adjoining part of North America which 
had once belonged to Great Britain, and the pros- 
perity of which conveyed to his mind a contrast 
and a moral. Having this horizon, he propounded 
and set himself to answer the following question. 
Given a people living at a distance from the 
central authority, who are either of British race, 
or at any rate of European origin, bred up under 
British rule, and in some familiarity with British 
privileges and institutions, what under such cir- 
cumstances is the best political constitution, de- 


signed at once with a view to giving contentment 
to the distant community, and with a view to 
maintaining and strengthening its connexion with 
the central authority ? His answer was that, 
with certain very important and carefully defined 
reservations, the distant community should be left 
to govern itself on the lines on which representative 
and responsible government is understood and 
carried on in the United Kingdom. 

It will be noted (1) that he prescribed for distant 
communities ; (2) that he prescribed for commu- 
nities which were either British, or Anglicized, or 
ex hypothesi to be Anglicized, and which already 
enjoyed representative institutions ; (3) that his 
prescription was responsible government most care- 
fully restricted. Each of these points require a few 
words of comment. 

It has been pointed out that one of the most 
admirable features of the Report is the stress which 
is laid upon the importance of means of communica- 
tion, and the almost prophetic insight which the 
writer possessed of the extent to which the forces 
of science might mould the future. If the question 
which has just been stated were propounded at 
the present day, the answer would be that in all 
probability, before many years have passed, there 
will be no distant communities. If we are to 
reason from the past to the future, the day will 
come, and may come in no very long time, when 
distance will cease to exist to any appreciable 
extent. The world moves so constantly and so fast 
that statesmen, and writers, and thinkers, never 
seem sufficiently to take stock of the advance 


which has been made, or to appreciate that what 
science has done in the past it will probably do in 
the future, only at a perpetually accelerated pace. 
It is a little under a century and a half since, in 
his Observations on a late state of the Nation, Edmund 
Burke elaborately ridiculed the proposal that the 
American colonies should be represented in the 
British Parliament, working out the time that 
would be necessary in order to traverse the dis- 
tance. His weeks have now become days or even 
less ; if he were writing at the present time, he 
would have to recast his arguments ; and if the 
next century and a half proves to be as fruitful in 
scientific discovery and invention as the interval 
since he wrote has been, distance at the end of 
that period will have vanished altogether. 1 

It does not follow that elimination of distance 
will necessarily produce unity within the Empire : 
there are instances to the contrary, which go to 

1 With reference to the great merit of Lord Durham's Report in 
appreciating what scientific invention would do for the Empire, there 
is an interesting passage in the Annual Register for 1838, written in 
reference to his Report, which shows similar confidence in the future of 
communications. ' The only conceivable course for bringing our colonial 
dependencies within the legitimate action of the constitution would be 
to summon them to send members to the Imperial parliament. This 
is a remedy which to some may seem worse than the evils which demand 
its application. Nor can it be dissembled that it would open the door to 
a multitude of ills, the nature of many of which may be perceived by 
the inconvenience which is produced by the presence of some of the 
Irish members in Parliament. . . . One considerable obstacle, at least, 
to the success of such a plan as we have been noticing, has to a great 
extent been removed by the speed and certainty of communication 
attained by steam navigation, so that it is probable that no great 
inconvenience to any party would now ensue from the delay and 
difficulties of the transit between Great 'Britain and her Atlantic 
colonies ' (pp. 337-8). 

1332-1 X 


prove that distance may in some cases lend en- 
chantment ; and, while the distant provinces of the 
Empire are year by year being brought into closer 
touch with each other, they are at the same time 
and by the same means being brought into closer 
touch with foreign nations ; but the fact remains 
that the difficulty which faced Lord Durham, how 
to hold together communities at a distance from 
each other, is gradually becoming obsolete; and 
this particular problem is being superseded by 
new problems and new difficulties which did not 
exist in his time, or of which, in his Mission and 
in his Report, he was not called upon to take 

In the second place, he was only concerned with 
British communities, or, on his own showing, with 
communities which were to be completely angli- 
cized, and which already had some measure of 
British institutions. Thus, one half of the British 
Empire lay entirely outside his ken. Now let us 
ask, what is the main difference between the British 
Empire and ah 1 other empires that the world has 
as yet known ? The term ' Empire ' 1 is used, in 

1 Sir G. Cornewall Lewis in The Government of Dependencies (1891 ed.), 
pp. 73-4, defined ' Empire ' as follows : ' The entire territory subject to 
a supreme government possessing several dependencies (that is to say, 
a territory formed of a dominant country together with its dependencies) 
is sometimes styled an Empire, as when we speak of the British Empire. 
Agreeably with this acceptation of the word Empire, the supreme 
government of a nation, considered with reference to its dependencies, 
is called the Imperial government, and the English parliament is called 
the Imperial Parliament, as distinguished from the provincial parlia- 
ment of a dependency.' The Roman word Imperium had no special 
military signification. It was, as Mommsen points out, the right to 
command the citizens in all matters within a given area (see Mommsen's 
History of Rome, Book II, chap, iii, vol. i, p. 297 note). 


default of a better term, as simply equivalent to 
a people or collection of peoples owing allegiance 
to some one common head or central authority. 
Some prejudice, modern and ill-founded, has arisen 
against the use of this word, as implying despotism 
and military rule. It seems to be forgotten that, 
in the days of King Henry VIII, 'Empire' and 
' Imperial Crown ' connoted the Sovereign inde- 
pendence of England, not the rule of England 
beyond the seas. 1 

When ancient and modern political systems are 
compared, we are told that the main differences 
between them are, that in the ancient world nothing 
was known of representation in politics, and that 
slavery was an integral factor in every com- 
munity. There is the further and most vital 
difference that the ancients had no knowledge 
of steam and electricity. Notwithstanding these 
differences, the Roman Empire, which by common 
consent was by far the greatest political creation 
of the Old World, is usually and rightly taken as 
the standard with which to compare the British 
Empire. So far as the world's history has gone, 
the Romans and the British have been the most 
successful empire builders ; the two peoples have 
had to a large extent the same qualities, one of 
the notable features of the Romans being that, 
though dwelling in Southern Europe, they had 
rather the characteristics of a northern race. Like 
the Romans, the British have not been ' cursed 
with the passion for uniformity ' ; 2 and Romans 

1 See the Oxford English Dictionary s.v. ' This Realm of England 
is an Empire,' 24 Hen. VIII, cap. 12. 

2 Arnold's Roman Provincial Administration, 2nd ed., 1906, p. 22. 



and British alike realized to the full how essential 
to making and keeping an empire are adequate 
means of communication. Allowing then for the 
differences above mentioned as being the result of 
different stages of civilization, what is the main 
distinction to be drawn between this Roman 
Empire, which of all empires was most akin to our 
own, and the British Empire of the present day ? 

The Roman Empire seems to have resembled 
the Empire of Spain in America, in so far as it 
was created by conquest and held by despotism, 
while including in the conquered provinces a large 
amount of colonization from the motherland, 
which made the dominant feature of the pro- 
vinces in one case Roman x and in the other 
Spanish. Neither in the Roman nor in the Spanish 
American Empire was there any distinction be- 
tween the areas which were ruled and the areas 
which were settled. In the earlier system there 
were Roman colonies, and more or less self-govern- 
ing municipia, scattered through a subject world. 
In the later system there was no part of Spanish 
America which, as a province of the Spanish 
Empire, differed widely in kind from the other 
parts. Herein is the great distinction between 
the British Empire and the Roman Empire, and 
between the British Empire and all other em- 
pires. In the British Empire, broadly speaking, 
the sphere of settlement is distinct from the sphere 
of rule. The British Empire includes in wholly 

1 This statement does not overlook the great part which Greek 
language and civilization played to the Roman Empire, but what was 
dominant am opposed to subordinate in that Empire was Roman. 


different areas colonies which are not really depen- 
dencies, and dependencies which are not really 
colonies. Nor, as regards the first of these two 
categories, has any European people, ancient or 
modern, on anything like the same scale, made 
other parts of the world the permanent home of the 
colonizing race, without intermixture of coloured 
races, the closest parallels being the case of the 
French in Canada, and in a lesser degree, of the 
Dutch in South Africa, both of whom are now 
within the circle of the British Empire. 

The great cardinal feature of the British Empire 
then is that it consists of two wholly different 
spheres, the sphere of rule and the sphere of settle- 
ment, and to the sphere of settlement alone Lord 
Durham's Report applies. He does not give us 
any guidance as to the great problem how to hold 
together as parts of one political system peoples 
and provinces, at present at a distance from each 
other, when the provinces show the utmost differ- 
ences in climate, when the peoples differ in race, 
in colour, and in stages of development, when some 
provinces are and must be, self-governing, while 
others are despotically governed. 

This problem lies outside the scope of the present 
Introduction ; but, with reference to the state- 
ment made above that elimination of distance 
need not necessarily make for greater unity, it may 
be noted in passing, that better communication 
has already tended to accentuate what is perhaps 
the greatest present-day difficulty of the British 
Empire a difficulty which does not appear to have 
existed in the Roman Empire the colour question. 


Lord Durham's outlook having been confined 
to what has been called the sphere of settlement, 
we next ask how far in that sphere were the 
principles which he laid down, and the reasoning 
which he employed, of general application. He 
prescribed, in the first place, for provinces which 
already had been given representative institutions. 
He says (ii. 278), ' We are not now to consider the 
policy of establishing representative government 
in the North American colonies. That has been 
irrevocably done ; and the experiment of depriving 
the people of their present constitutional power 
is not to be thought of.' In the second place, he 
prescribed more especially for communities which 
bordered on a self-governing nation of British origin, 
though the government of that country was not 
the particular form of self-government which he 
advocated for Canada. In the third place, as has 
been abundantly pointed out, he postulated as a 
necessary preliminary to self-government, that the 
community, so far as it was not British, should 
be made British, that every foreign element in 
it should be submerged. Suppose that Canada, 
instead of adjoining the United States, had 
been, like Australia, far removed from American 
influence and example, the necessity for self- 
government might not have seemed so urgent. 
Suppose, again, that the Act of 1791 had not 
been passed, and that Canada, when Lord Durham 
visited it, had been a pure Crown Colony without 
any vestige of a representative institution ; it does 
not follow that Lord Durham would at once 
have prescribed responsible government. Suppose, 


once more, that he had been deprived of his hypo- 
thesis that the French Canadian nationality must 
be obliterated, or that he had been sent to South 
Africa, as South Africa was after the late war, 
with the understanding that nothing was to be 
done to undermine the Dutch nationality, then, to 
judge from his Report, he would not have recom- 
mended responsible government. 

It is of course a vain thing to ask what a man 
would have said or done many years after his death, 
in altered conditions and with fuller knowledge. 
A broad-minded man moves with the times, and 
Lord Durham would never have stood still ; but 
notwithstanding, in trying to answer the question 
how far the principles laid down in his Report 
were or are applicable to the whole sphere of 
settlement in the British Empire, it is right and 
useful to point out that his recommendations were 
primarily directed to the case of a particular group 
of provinces in a certain stage of development, 
and with special surroundings, and that beyond 
all question, he looked upon responsible govern- 
ment as a British prescription for a British com- 
munity, and not as a recipe for non-British 

The third point is, that this colonial self-govern- 
ment which he expounded and prescribed, was, 
as has been already emphasized, of the most re- 
stricted chaxacter, falling very far short of colonial 
self-government as it exists at the present day. 
It must be repeated that Lord Durham, while 
making the reservations which 'he made, as being 
wise and reasonable in the first stages of self- 


government, would, in the light of later know- 
ledge, probably have been the last man to insist 
that these limits were unalterable landmarks, to 
be upheld throughout the centuries. His Report 
breathes the sane and human spirit of growth and 
development ; and, were he living now, he would 
doubtless rejoice in the ever broadening freedom 
and responsibility which has been obtained by the 
younger peoples of the Empire in their adult man- 
hood. If we do not make this assumption, it is 
clear that his principles, coupled with his reserva- 
tions, have proved to be inadequate, even for the 
cases to which they were intended to be applied. 
On the other hand, however, if we do make it, we 
must recognize that colonial self-government, as he 
prescribed it, was merely a stage in a process, the 
end of which is not yet in sight, and the outcome 
of which may or may not be one form or another 
of imperial unity. In other words, if we give 
Lord Durham credit for marking out very clearly 
and definitely the direction, with full intent that 
the road should, as it went on, perpetually broaden 
out, we must at the same time recognize that he 
had at best not found a solution, but only a way 
which might eventually lead to a solution. 

As far as his Report shows, he intended to create 
a nation, but a nation which should be subordi- 
nate ; whereas the result of his Report a result 
which, whatever he may have intended, was abso- 
lutely inevitable was to begin creating nations 
which should not be subordinate. It was an 
inevitable result, because it has always been true 
of British colonists as of Greek, that, so far as 


they were in either case free men, they went out 
on the principle of being equal instead of subordi- 
nate to the citizens who were left behind. The 
problem, as he left it, was the connexion between 
two self-governing communities, one superior, 
and the other subordinate. The problem, as 
we have it, is the connexion between one older 
and several younger self-governing communities, 
which are on or are approaching the position of 
political equality. Judging from his Report, he 
seems to have contemplated that a nation could 
be created, endowed with national institutions, 
and inspired with national patriotism, but that 
bounds could be placed to its nationhood. Time 
has proved that this was a fallacy ; that it was 
not possible in the case of overseas dominions, 
while the element of distance survived, and while 
the communities in question were growing out of 
infancy to the adult stage, to give self-government 
but assign limits to the self-government. The 
only limits are those which the self-governing 
nation may itself assign, by handing over some 
of its powers to a federation. Thus the critics 
of responsible government, as Lord Durham pro- 
pounded it, had much to say for themselves. 
They contended that there could not be dual 
control ; he contended that there could, that 
a division of authority was possible. It was not 
possible in the long run. The grant of responsible 
government was the beginning of the end of sub- 
ordination, in the sense of the mother country 
eventually retaining any substantial power over 
the self-governing communities beyond the seas. 


So far as such power has been retained since the 
time when responsible government was granted, 
the retention has been due not to any definite 
division of authority, such as Lord Durham con- 
templated, but to the recognition by the self- 
governing communities of the benefit derived 
from the conditions which imply control. Security 
against foreign invasion has been provided by the 
British fleet, enabling the younger peoples to grow 
into nations, undisturbed from the outside. The 
home people of the Empire has in the main paid 
the foreign bill of the overseas peoples, and further 
has largely supplied the capital required for the 
peaceful development of the overseas peoples. 
The analogy of the family holds for peoples as 
for individuals. The younger the children are, the 
more they require to be fostered and protected, and 
the more they are controlled. When they have been 
started in the world, the need for fostering and 
protection grows less and less, and the control 
diminishes pari passu. Lord Durham may have 
had this future in his mind, but it is not fore- 
shadowed in his Report. In that Report he limited 
his outlook to the creation of subordinate peoples, 
whereas the result of his recommendation has been 
that equal nations have been or are being evolved. 
Lord Durham's view of what has been called 
above the sphere of settlement in the British 
Empire would apparently have corresponded very 
nearly with the view put forward by Burke in his 
speech on American taxation. ' The Parliament 
of Great Britain sits at the head of her extensive 
Empire in two capacities, one as the local legis- 


lature of this island. . . . The other and, I think, 
her nobler capacity is what I call her Imperial 
character, in which, as from the throne of Heaven, 
she superintends all the several inferior legislatures, 
and guides and controls them all, without annihilat- 
ing any. As all these provincial legislatures are 
only co-ordinate to each other, they ought all to 
be subordinate to her.' Lord Durham might prob- 
ably have gone further than Burke in the measure 
of emancipation from the control of the Imperial 
Parliament, which he would have given to the 
colonies, but still they were in the end to be sub- 
ordinate members of the Empire, not equal part- 
ners. It is since this time, but dating from this 
time, that the relation of partnership has little by 
little supplanted that of supremacy and subordina- 
tion, leaving, and in the process strengthening, 
the link of common allegiance to the Crown. 

It may be summed up then that a close analysis 
of Lord Durham's Report leads to the conclusion 
that, while it is to some extent a general treatise 
on colonial administration, the principles embodied 
in it are by no means of universal application ; 
that the great Liberal, who wrote or dictated 
the Report, was not a preacher of self-govern- 
ment for the whole world, or for the whole 
British Empire, or for coloured races, or for non- 
British white races, or even for British peoples 
whatever may be their stage of development. Nor 
was he by any means a preacher of unlimited 
self-government. And yet it is impossible to 
study the Report without feeling that such a state- 
ment of its limitations does it less than justice. 


It has been attempted in the foregoing pages to 
lay stress upon what has been termed Lord Dur- 
ham's constructiveness. To all times and to all 
sorts and conditions of men he has preached the 
doctrine, that for peoples, as for individuals, the 
one thing worth living for is to make, not to 
destroy ; to build up, not to pull down ; to unite 
small disjointed elements into a single whole ; 
to reject absolutely and always the doctrine of 
Divide, et Impera, because it is a sign of weakness, 
not of strength ; to be strong and fear not ; to speak 
unto the peoples of the earth that they go for- 
ward. In this constructiveness, which is embodied 
in all parts of the Report, he has beyond any other 
man illustrated in writing the genius of the English 
race, the element which in the British Empire is 
common alike to the sphere of settlement and to 
the sphere of rule. It is as a race of makers that 
the English will live to all time, and it is as a pro- 
phet of a race of makers that Lord Durham lives. 
Of Canada he wrote (ii. 310) : 

' If in the hidden decrees of that wisdom by 
which this world is ruled, it is written that these 
countries are not for ever to remain portions of 
the Empire, we owe it to our honour to take good 
care that, when they separate from us, they should 
not be the only countries on the American con- 
tinent in which the Anglo-Saxon race shall be 
found unfit to govern itself.' 

These words apply beyond Canada and beyond 
America. The spirit of them transcends the sphere 
of settlement, it is the living force of the whole 
British Empire. The words are the message of a 


great Englishman to his fellow countrymen, that 
the one thing needful is to leave behind a legacy 
of what is permanently sound and great. If 
England continues to be inspired by what Lord 
Durham taught so well, then as Great Britain has 
grown into Greater Britain, so Greater Britain will 
grow into Greatest Britain, to the glory of God 
the Creator, and to the well-being of mankind. 




THERE is no great profit in speculating as to 
what view a man long dead would have taken 
of a political question of the present day. But 
colonial self-government dates from Lord Dur- 
ham's Report, and reference has been and may 
again be made to the Report in connexion with 
proposals for Home Rule in Ireland. It may 
therefore be of use, without in any way discussing 
the merits either of Lord Durham's views or of 
Home Rule, to note very briefly how far there 
is any analogy between the case of Canada in 
Lord Durham's time, and that of Ireland to-day, 
and w r hat bearing the doctrines embodied in the 
Report seem to have upon the Home Rule question. 

It will be remembered that Lord Durham was 
one of the leaders, if not the leader, of the Radical 
wing of the Liberal party of his day, and also that 
he was a cotemporary of O'Connell, though he died 
before the great agitation for the Repeal of the 
Union. Further, the fact that in the previous 
twenty years there had been a large Irish im- 
migration into Canada, and that in the recent 
disturbances in Canada the Irish had in the main 
ranged themselves with the other British loyalists 
on the side of the Government, in spite of aggres- 


sive Orangeism in Upper Canada, may well have 
kept Ireland and the Irish prominently in his 
mind. But notwithstanding, he does not seem to 
quote Ireland for the purpose of comparison or 
contrast with Canada, except in the passage with 
the marginal note, ' The French, when in a legiti- 
mate minority, would abandon vain hopes of 
nationality,' in which passage he says, ' The 
experience of the two Unions in the British Isles 
may teach us how effectually the strong arm of 
a popular legislature would compel the obedience 
of the refractory population ' (vol. ii, p. 308). We 
may therefore take it that Lord Durham himself 
did not find much analogy between Canada, as 
it was in his day, and Ireland. 

If we are to find any analogy, it must obviously 
be found in Lower Canada the French Province, 
not in Upper Canada, the more or less homo- 
geneous British Province. Lower Canada con- 
tained an overwhelming majority of Roman 
Catholic French Canadians, and a British Protes- 
tant minority, of strong and enterprising character, 
considerable in the commercial centres of Quebec 
and Montreal, and wholly predominant in one 
corner of the Province, the Eastern Townships. 
To this extent it rather closely resembled Ireland. 
The French Canadians had been led by Papineau, 
who was considered the O'Connell of Canada : the 
extremists among them talked of La Nation 
Canadienne, a Canadian Republic and so forth 
(ii. 58, &c.) ; in short, the feeling, exasperated by 
the recent rising, was roughly parallel to Irish feel- 
ing after one or other of the periodical disturbances 


in Ireland, and may be said to have combined 
some active and pronounced, with much more 
passive, disloyalty. 

So far there is some similarity between the case 
of Lower Canada in Lord Durham's time, and 
Ireland both then and now. On the other hand, 
the points of difference are many among them 
the following : (i) The time when Lord Durham 
went out and reported was an abnormal time, 
a time of crisis. There had been an armed rising, 
trivial, it is true, but still an open insurrection, 
not in Lower Canada only, but in Upper Canada 
also ; and there had been general political discon- 
tent from want of self-government in all the 
British North American provinces. In Lower 
Canada the constitution had in consequence been 
entirely suspended, (ii) The scene of his mission, 
and the object of his recommendations, was a 
group of communities, not close to but distant from 
England, (iii) This group of communities bordered 
on a great self-governing community of British 
speech and descent the United States, (iv) The 
communities in question had not at the time, 
and never had enjoyed so far in their history, full 
Parliamentary liberties, in the sense in which such 
liberties are understood in the United Kingdom. 
(v) The trouble in Lower Canada was, at any rate 
in Lord Durham's opinion, a trouble of animosity 
between a British and a non-British race, aggra- 
vated, but not caused primarily, by defects in the 
constitution, and not aggravated by difference of 
religion, religious toleration being conspicuous in 
Lower Canada. 


So much for the parallel between Lower Canada 
and Ireland. Now let us take the views embodied 
in the Report. In the Introduction to which this 
note is appended, it has been attempted to correct 
the common view of the Report, which eulogizes 
it quite rightly for recommending responsible 
government, but does not stop to consider the 
limits which Lord Durham set to responsible 
government, and the conditions under which 
alone he was prepared to concede it. Much might 
be said as bearing on the Irish question of the 
limits which he placed to self-government ; but it 
will be enough to note the conditions under which, 
and only under which, he was prepared to grant 
it. It may be added that the Report is entirely 
misinterpreted by those who fail or refuse to see 
that Lord Durham was quite ready to apply 
what would now be called Coercion, in order to 
secure what he considered to be the greatest happi- 
ness of the greatest number ; and that he had no 
intention of giving to people something that in 
his opinion would not be for their permanent good, 
simply because they asked for it. 

Lord Durham, as an advanced Liberal, went 
out to Canada, holding that the panacea for all 
the evils in British North America was constitu- 
tional reform, in other words self-government. 
He reasoned, with irresistible force, that there 
was a common source of discontent in these 
communities, in that being composed of British 
citizens, or rather white British subjects, who were 
already accustomed to some form of representative 
institutions, they were not entrusted with the 

1352-1 Y 


full management of their own local affairs, but were 
kept under a distant and therefore, in his opinion, 
a misgoverning authority ; that it was specially 
dangerous not to give them self-government, 
because the self-governing United States was 
immediately under their eyes, and exercising a 
powerful attraction ; and moreover, that American 
public opinion would be conciliated by the grant 
of self-government to Canada, just as American 
sympathy with Home Rule for Ireland is taken 
into account nowadays. 

But when he reached Canada, and found that 
the evil in the Province of Quebec was more than 
a constitutional question, and that its root was 
in race, not only did he not prescribe self-govern- 
ment for Lower Canada as it then stood, but 
(i) he blamed the Imperial Government for ever 
having given any semblance of separate treatment 
to the French Canadians. ' Unhappily, the sys- 
tem of government pursued in Lower Canada has 
been based on the policy of perpetuating that very 
separation of the races, and encouraging these 
very notions of conflicting nationalities, which it 
ought to have been the first and chief care of 
Government to check and extinguish ' (ii. 63) ; 
and (ii) he laid down that ' the fatal feud of origin, 
which is the cause of the most extensive mischief, 
would be aggravated at the present moment by 
any change, which should give the majority more 
power than they have hitherto possessed ' (ii. 288). 

What then was his prescription for Lower 
Canada ? Not that it should be debarred from 
self-government, nor that the French majority 


should be placed under the loyal English minority 
in the Province ' I certainly should not like to 
subject the French Canadians to the rule of the 
identical English minority with which they have 
so long been contending ' (ii. 308) but that it 
should be an absolutely necessary preliminary to 
giving self-government to the Province of Quebec, 
that that province should be fused not federated 
with the neighbouring province, in order that 
the disloyal French Canadians might be out- 
voted and swamped by and wholly merged in a 
loyal British majority, in order that the national 
character to be given to French Canada should 
be ' that of the British Empire, that of the majority 
of the population of British America ' (ii. 288). 
He did not look to self-government by itself to 
cure disloyalty in Lower Canada. On the con- 
trary, he made it a sine qua non of giving self- 
government to the French Canadians that the 
majority should be British, which, in spite of the 
rising in Upper Canada, was tantamount to being 
loyal. Nor did he regard it as a negation of self- 
government that the French Canadians should 
always be outvoted. Further, he viewed the total 
incorporation of a small community in a bigger one 
as a gain to the small community, and where there 
was a doubt as to the advisability of granting self- 
government under existing conditions, he recom- 
mended absorption in a larger body. Thus he 
writes of Newfoundland, ' If it be true that there 
exists in this island a state of society, which renders 
it unadvisable that the whole of the local govern- 
ment should be entirely left to the inhabitants, 



I believe that it would be much better to incor- 
porate this colony with a larger community, than to 
attempt to continue the present experiment of 
governing it by a constant collision of constitu- 
tional powers ' (ii. 202). 

Lord Durham, then, recommended self-govern- 
ment for Lower Canada, but not Home Rule ; and, 
if any inference can be drawn from his Report 
with regard to Ireland, it would seem that he not 
only would not have recommended Home Rule 
for Ireland, but would have contended that it 
has self-government already, and that it was 
a mistake ever to have given it any shred of 
separate treatment, such as a fixed number 
of members in the Parliament of the United 


Aberdeen, Lord, 62, 64. 
Abolition of Slavery, see Slavery. 
Abolition of Transportation, see 

Acts, Principal, referred to : 
(1) Imperial 

(a) Relating to Canada : 
Quebec Act of 1774, 29, 56, 

58, 165, 220 and note 1, 

223-4, 224 note. 
Quebec Revenue Act of 1774, 

29, 40, 60, 70, 76. 
Constitutional Act of 1791, 

31, 53, 78, 84, 101-2, 138, 

159, 160, 162-3, 220, 221, 

227-8, 233, 254, 278, 279, 

291, 292, 296, 310. 
Canada Trade Act of 1822, 33, 

45, 47, 55, 67, 161. 
Tenures Act of 1825, 161, 172. 
Revenue Control Act of 1831, 

60, 70, 71, 76. 
Constitutional Act Suspension 

Act of 1838 (Government 

of Lower Canada), 101-3, 

110, 111, 112, 168 note. 
Union Act of 1840, 221 and 

note, 288-9, 291, 292, 293, 

294, 295, 296. 
Civil List Act of 1847, 292 and 

note, 293. 
Crown Revenues Act of 1852, 

185, 293. 
British North America Act of 

1867, 166, 204, 231, 252, 

253, 284, 289, 292, 293 and 

note 1, 298, 301. 
Clergy Reserves Acts, 163 and 

note, 294, 295 and note, 

296 and note. 
Passengers and Merchant 

Shipping Acts, 188, 191, 

192, 300. 

(b) General : 

Reform Act of 1832, 18. 

Poor Law Amendment Act of 

1834, 18, 198. 
South Australian Act of 1834, 

156, 158. 

Municipal Corporations Act of 
1835, 18, 151 and note, 214. 
Civil List Acts, 185. 
Test and Corporation Acts 
Repeal, 19. 

(2) Canadian 
Medical Relief of Emigrants 

Act of 1832, 195. 
Quarantine Act of 1832, 194. 
Sulpician Seminary Act of 

1839, 168. 
Public Lands Act of 1841, 

294 note. 
Civil List Act of 1846, 292, 


Abolition of Feudal Rights in 
Lower Canada, Act of 1854, 
168 note, 297. 
Seigniorial Amendment Act 

of 1859, 168 note. 
Clergy Reserves Acts, 165, 

295, 296. 

Jesuits' Estates Acts, 166. 
Municipal Corporations Acts, 

212, 298 and note, 300. 
Advisory Committee, proposed by 

LordGlenelg, 110-12. 
America and Americans, see United 


Amherst, Lord, 64, 166. 
Anti-Corn Law Association, 20. 
Anti-Corn Law League, 20. 
Appeals, Judicial, see Law and 


Arnold, Roman Provincial Ad- 
ministration quoted, 307. 
Arthur, Sir George, 81, 100, 118. 
Ashburton, Lord, 123. 
Assembly, Houses of, 29, 31, 33, 

34, 132, 277, 287, &c. 
Lower Canada, 35, 36, 38-52, 



54, 56-72, 74, 77, 111, 112, 
128, 139, 143, 150, 161, 183, 
211, 212, 217, 233, 236. 
Upper Canada, 7 and note, 54, 
69, 70, 77, 79, 80, 118, 119, 
143, 262, 267. 
United Canada, 288-90. 
New Brunswick, 82. 
Newfoundland, 86-8. 
Nova Scotia, 81. 
Prince Edward Island, 85, 86. 
Australia, 12-14, 146, 152 note, 
178, 182, 193, 196, 197, 252, 
264, 273, 291, 310. 
Australia, South, see South Aus- 
Australia, Western, see Western 


Aylmer, Lord, 57, 58, 59, 64, 65, 

Baie Verte, see Canals. 
Baldwin, Robert, 75, 79, 97, 98. 
Barbados, 11. 
Bathurst, Lord, 38, 41, 43 note, 

49-52, 266. 

Beauharnois Canal, see Canals. 
Beauharnois Seigniory, 161. 
Bidwell, Barnabas, 55. 
Bidwell, Marshall Spring, 55, 69, 

70, 75, 80, 81, 97. 
Board of Trade, see Trade. 
Boulton, 75, 76, 87, 88. 
Britannia, the, 16. 
British American Land Company, 

61, 66, 67, 73, 171-2. 
British Columbia, 204. 
British in Canada, 24, 26, 27, 29, 
31, 34, 63, 65, 66, 89, 126, 128, 
129, 130, 136, 138, 148, 172, 227, 
241, 248, 259, 260, 282, 284, 310, 
316, et passim. 

British North America, 11, 65, 71, 

75, 84, 86, 105, 106, 107, 108, 

109, 114, 115, 121, 122, 123, 

128, 131, 137, 138, 146, 153, 

154, 182, 185, 188, 201, 221, 

244, 256, 266, 277, 279, 280, 

289, 298, 303, 310, et passim. 

Union of, 32, 121, 126, 132, 148- 

9, 217, 247-57, 261, 266, 289. 

Brougham, Lord, 103, 123. 

Brown, Thomas Storrow, 89, 91, 

92, 93, 94. 

Bryce, Mr., quoted, 139-40 note. 
Buller, Arthur, his Report on 

Education in Lower Canada, 

232, 233, 234-44, 247. 
Buller, Charles, 3-5, 12, 21-3, 112, 

117, 131, 160, 161, 175, 178, 
179, 180, 189, 195, 197, 200, 
210-11, 213, 222, 231 note, 
235, 248, 261, 266, 267, 268, 

his Public Lands Inquiry and 
Report, 108 note, 114, 115, 
121, 153, 156, 157, 168 and 
note, 169-70, 173, 175-82, 
185-6, 189 note, 190 note, 
191, 193, 195 note. 

Bureaucracy, 23, 75. 

Burke, Edmund, 305, 314-16. 

Burton, Sir Francis, 48, 50. 

By, Colonel, 203, 208. 

Campbell, Sir Archibald, 82, 83. 

Campbell, Sir Colin, 85. 

Canada, 6, 26-30, 42, 104, 109, 

118, 125, 148, 151, 156, 174, 
181, 192, 199-206, 208, 227, 
257, 273, 278, 287-8, 291, 
296-7, 302, 310, 316, et 

Canadas, Reunion of, 44-7, 124- 

36, 148, 247-50, 287-9. 
Canada, Lower, History of, 31- 

53, 55-75, 88-96, 100-3. 
Canada, Upper, History of, 

31-5, 37, 44, 53-5, 75-81, 


See also under other heads. 
Canada Company, 169-71. 
Canadian Pacific Railway, see 

Canadien, Le, 35. 
Canals, 178, 198, 199, 203-9, 264, 

Bay of Fundy and Baie Verte, 


Beauharnois, 206. 
Chambly, 207. 
Cornwall, 207. 
Erie, 209, 264. 
Georgian Bay, 199-200. 
Lachine, 206. 
Military, 203-4, 206. 
Rideau, 203, 207-8. 
Welland, 199, 207. 



Canning, 19, 52. 

Canterbury, Viscount, 64. 

Cape Colony, 13, 21, 146, 178, 


Carignan-Salieres Regiment, 174. 
Carleton, 28, 33, 165-6, 227, 242-3, 

254 and note, 281-2. 
Carlyle, 3, 131, 235. 
Caroline, the, 99, 258. 
Cascades, The, 206. 
Casual and Territorial Revenues, 

see Crown Revenues. 
Catholic emancipation, 19, 239. 
Cedars, The, 206. 
Chambly, 92. 

Chambly Canal, see Canals. 
Champlain, Lake, 14-15, 207. 
Chartrand, 94-5, 229 and note. 
Chenier, 95, 97. 

Chief Justice, see Law and Justice. 
Cholera, 194 and note 2. 
Church of England, 4, 75, 78-9, 

163, 164, 228, 245, 246-7, and 

see Clergy. 
Church of Scotland, see Clergy, 


Civil List, 39, 40, 41, 43, 52, 58 - 
61, 66, 70, 73, 76, 83, 105, 
149, 150, 151, 183, 186, 187, 
Clergy : 

(i) Anglican, 165, 239, 246. 

(ii) Presbyterian, 78, 239, 247, 

(iii) Roman Catholic, 28, 34, 
88-9, 96, 234, 239, 240, 

Clergy Reserves, see Lands. 
Cobden, Richard, 2, 20. 
Coburg, 213, 247. 
Colbert, 174. 
Colborne, Sir John, 55, 73, 75, 77- 

9, 89, 91, 92, 95, 96, 100, 103, 

163-4, 168, 244. 

Colonial Administration, see Colo- 
nial Office. 

Colonial Advocate, the, 55. 
Colonial Office, 3, 20-3, 52, 62, 
124, 157, 178, 179, 188, 191, 
243, 266-75. 

advantages of, 268-70, 275. 

criticisms of, 21, 266-8, 270-3. 

position of Secretary of State. 

Colonies, relations with mother 

country, 115, 120, 143, 149-50, 

155, 285, 312-15. 
Colonization Schemes, 14, 115, 

155-7, 158, 179, 180, 181-2, 

197, 299. 

Coloured races, see Native Ques- 
Commission, Parliamentary, on 

Electoral Divisions, 148-9. 
Communications, 8, 14-15, 123, 

179, 180, 198-210, 211, 304-5, 

305 note, 308-9. 
Confederated Counties, 90-1. 
Constitution, British, 139, 142 

note, 144. 
Cornwall, 213. 
Cornwall Canal, see Canals. 
Coteau du Lac, 206. 
Councils : 

(i) Special Council of Lower 
Canada, 102-3, 110, 168 
and note, 298. 

(ii) Executive, 56, 225. 

(a) Lower Canada, 65, 66, 67, 

70, 71, 73, 143, 144-5, 226, 

(&) Upper Canada, 54, 79-80. 

(c) New Brunswick, 81, 82, 

(d) Newfoundland, 87-8. 

(e) Nova Scotia, 81, 82, 84. 
(/) Prince Edward Island, 85, 

(iii) Legislative, 29, 31, 33, 56, 

151, 225, 227 and note, 
(a) Lower Canada, 39, 41, 43, 
48, 59, 62, 65, 66, 67, 69, 

71, 72, 73, 128, 161, 226, 

(6) Upper Canada, 54, 77, 

(c) United Canada, 288, 291-2. 

(d) New Brunswick, 81, 82, 

(e) Newfoundland, 87-8. 
(/) Nova Scotia, 81, 82, 84. 
(g) Prince Edward Island, 


Courts, see Law and Justice. 
Cousin, Victor, 237. 
Craig, Sir James, 35-6, 57, 127, 

167, 225. 
Cromer, Lord, quoted, 135 note. 



Crown, the, 66, 143, 144, 145, 147, 
148, 149, 151, 152, 166, 219, 227, 
234, 245, 246, 275, 291, 292, 294 

Crown Colonies, 11, 23, 225, 266, 
267, 268, 270, 273, 274, 310. 

Crown Patronage, 66, 67-8, 77. 

Crown Reserves, see Lands. 

Crown Revenues, 40, 47, 52, 54, 
56, 58-61, 66, 70, 73, 149, 182-8, 

Cunard, 16. 

Dalhousie, Earl of, 42, 43, 47, 48, 
49, 50, 51, 52, 56, 57, 85, 109, 

Davidson, John, 160, 183 note. 
Davignon, 91. 
Demaray, 91. 
Derby, Earl of, see Stanley, 


Detroit, 96, 99. 
Dicey, Professor, quoted, 139 and 

note 2. 

Doratt, Sir John, 194 note 2. 
Dorchester, see Carleton. 
Doric Club, 91. 

Droit de Quint, 183 note, 184. 
Duncombe, Dr., 97, 98. 
Dunkin, 153, 167, 236. 
D'Urban, Sir Benjamin, 13, 21. 
his life, 1-2. 

his character and ability, 2, 6-8, 
119-20, 131-2, 214, 256, 276, 
316, etc. 
as a Liberal, 2, 128-30, 138, 

141,214,215,282, 315. 
as an Imperialist, 2, 119-23, 
130, 141, 149-50, 151, 155, 
180, 198, 214, 215, 217, 256, 
282, 285. 
as a constructive statesman, 

121-3, 216-17, 316. 
his views before his mission, 

his views on : 

French Colonization, 24, 25. 
Nationality, 116, 129-34, 

281-4, 289, 311. 
Public Lands, 153-5, 165-8, 

176-80, 186-8. 

Emigration, 189 and note, 
196-8, 299. 

Education, 232, 234, 235, 

Union of two Canadas, 124, 
129-33, 148, 247-50, 287-8. 

Union of British North 
America, 132, 148-9, 210, 
247-57, 261, 266, 289. 

Administration of Justice, 
223-5, 229-31. 

Means of Communication, 
15-16, 201, 204-5, 208-10, 

Colonial Office Administra- 
tion, 266,267, 270-3,279-80. 

Representative Institutions 
and Responsible Govern- 
ment, 125, 130, 136-42, 
146-52, 252-3, 283-7, 289, 

Municipal Government, 210- 

United States, 258-66. 
his Commission and Instruc- 
tions, 106-10, 112, 113. 

Resignation, 211, 235. 

Death, 301. 
value of his work, 301-2, 315- 


Dutch in New York, 264, 283. 
Dutch in South Africa, 136, 283, 
309, 311. 

Education : 

(i) In Lower Canada, 67, 166-7, 
232-44, 264, 300-1, and see 
Buller, Arthur, 
(ii) In Upper Canada, 75, 244-7, 

295, 301. 

Egremont, Lord, 193. 
Elgin, eighth Earl of, 1, 142 note, 

283, 289, 291. 
Elgin, ninth Earl of, 1. 
Elizabeth College, 244. 
Ellice, 'Bear,' 4, 7, 45, 46, 112, 

161, 297. 

Ellice, the Younger, 4. 
Elliot, Sir T. F., 65, 71, 189-90, 

190 note, 191, 196, 273. 
Emigrants' Information Office, 

Emigration : 

from United Kingdom to 
Canada, 156-8, 172, 174, 177- 
82, 188-98, 279, 299-300. 



from United Kingdom to United 
States, 190. 

abuses of, 189, 193-6. 

Committees and Commission on, 

control of, 178-9, 188-92, 196-8. 

See also Lands, Quarantine, 

Colonization Schemes, &o. 
Empire, British, 5, 7, 10, 30, 120, 

121, 123, 202, 222, 254, 255, 273, 

275, 277, 285, 303, 305-9, 305 

note, 306 note, 311, 312, 314, 

315, &c. 

Erie Canal, see Canals. 
Executive, Parliamentary, Prin- 
ciple of, 139 note 2, 141, 142, 

Executives : 

Lower Canada, 42, 44, 56, 139. ! 

Upper Canada, 143. 

United Canada, 149, 249. 

Relations with Legislatures, 
33-4, 36, 137, 139, 142-5, 
148, 290-1, and see Councils. 
Executive Council, see Councils. 

Family Compact, 54, 75, 164, 247. 

Federal Legislature, see Legisla- 

Federation, 132-3,248-55,287,313. \ 

Feudal Tenures, see Lands and 

Filmore, President, 142 note. 

Fils de Liberte, 91. 

Finances, control of, 149, 293, &c. 

in Lower Canada, 38-44, 47, 48, 

49, 51, 55-61, 65-6, 71, 73, 

104-5, 182-3, 184. 

in Upper Canada, 54, 60, 76, 182. 

Financial relations between Upper 
and Lower Canada, 44, 45, 54, 67. 
See also Civil List, Money Votes, 

Finlay, Hugh, 233, 234 note. 

Fisheries Disputes, 257, 258. 

Fitzgibbon, Colonel, 97, 98. 

Fitzroy, Sir Charles, 85-6. 

Foreign Relations, 149-50, 285. 

Forges of St. Maurice, see St. i 

Free Trade, 19, 20, 198, 286. 

French Canadians, 24, 25, 27, 28, 
31, 32, 34, 42, 46, 54, 61, 62, 
63, 64, 67-8, 88, 89, 91, 95, 96, j 

103, 116, 118, 121, 124, 125, 128, 
129, 130, 131, 151, 159, 161, 172, 
175, 195, 214, 215, 225, 239, 240, 
241, 243, 248, 250, 259, 260, 265, 
277, 279, 280, 281-4, 309, etc. 

Gait, John, 170. 
George III, 41, 166. 
George IV, 76. 

Georgian Bay Canal, see Canals. 
Gipps, Sir George, 65, 70, 71. 
Girod, 95-6. 

Glenelg, Lord, 13, 19, 20-2, 62, 64, 
67, 68, 69, 73, 77, 78, 80, 83, 
84, 85-6, 87, 100, 101, 158, 
162 and note, 186, 231 and 
note, 232-3, 251 and note, 

his Instructions to Lord Dur- 
ham, 5, 106, 109, 112, 113, 
132 and note, 147. 
his Instructions to Royal Com- 
missioners, 65-7, 69, 71, 72. 
his Instructions to Sir F. Bond 

Head, 142-3. 

Glengarry Highlanders, 89, 245. 
Goderich, Lord, 19, 52, 53, 58, 59, 
61, 68, 79, 81, 86 note, 87, 88, 
164, 166, 167, 190, 226. 
Gore, Colonel, 92-5. 
Gosford, Earl of, 65, 67, 69, 70, 71, 
72, 74, 77, 83, 88, 89, 90, 100, 
162 and note, 167, 168, 185 
note, 186, 232, 233 note, 235, 

Gourlay, Robert, 53. 
Government, Imperial, see Im- 
perial Government. 
Greek Colonists, 312-13. 
Grey, Colonel, 258. 
Grey, first Earl, 1, 2, 17, 142 note. 
Grey, second Earl, 191. 
Grey, Sir Charles, 65, 70, 71. 
Grey, Sir George, 12, 22 and 

note 1. 
Grosse Isle, 194 and note 2. 

Haldimand, General, 206. 
Halifax, 16, 83, 90, 201, 204, 


Hamilton, 213. 
Hanson, 4, 153, 164. 
Harvey, Sir John, 83. 
Head, Sir Francis Bond, 22, 69, 



77-81, 83, 90, 96, 97, 98, 100, 

Hereditary Legislators, 227-8. 
House of Commons, 7, 18, 39, 41, 

60, 137, 139 note 2, 157, 158, 

159, 174 note, 221, 248, 267, 

274, 279, 288, 297, &c. 
Committees on Emigration, 190. 
Resolutions of March 1837, 72-3, 

143, 144. 
Select Committee of Inquiry 

into Civil Government of 

Canada in 1828, 53, 55, 56, 

57, 62, 63, 75, 82, 160 note, 

Select Committee of Inquiry 

into Civil Government of 

Lower Canada in 1834, 62-3. 
House of Commons Papers, 117. 
July 1831, No. 102. Canada 

Crown Revenues, 40 note, 183 

March 1832, No. 334. Canada 

Waste Lands, 174 and note, 

188 and note. 
March 1836, No. 113. Copy 

of the Instructions given to 

the Earl of Gosford, etc., 68 

note, 143 note, 162 note, 233 

February 1837, No. 50. Lower 

Canada, 185 note, 235 note, 

237 note. 

May 1838, No. 388. Emigra- 
tion, 190 note, 191 note, 

February 1839, No. 2. British 

North America, 231, 258 note, 

June 1839, No. 117. Canadian 

Affairs, 119 note, 263 note, 

276 note. 
August 1839, No. 579. Nova 

Scotia, &c., 82 note, 84 note, 

86 note, 87 note. 
1840. Affairs of Canada, Part I, 

299 note 1. 
February 1840, No. 35. Colonial 

Lands Board, 294 note, 299 

March 1840, No. 147. Copies of 

Extracts of Correspondence 

relative to the Reunion of 

the Provinces of Lower and 

Upper Canada, 213 note, 218 

August 1871, C. 459. Cape of 

Good Hope, 146 note 2. 
House of Lords, 102, 123, 151, 

227 and note. 
Howe, Joseph, 81, 85. 
Ho wick, Lord, see Grey, second 

Hudson Bay Company, 183 note, 


Hume, Joseph, 73, 76, 104. 
Hungary, Language Question in, 

Huskisson, 19, 53, 55, 57. 

Imperial Advisers, 142-5, 147. 

Imperial Government, 27, 41, 44, 
46, 47, 58, 59, 60, 61, 63, 68, 
104, 142, 143, 144, 148, 149, 
162, 166, 174, 178, 179, 184, 185, 
187, 195, 207, 219, 220, 221. 
223-5, 232, 233, 234, 236, 240, 
243, 245, 249, 251, 252, 253, 255, 
260, 271, 274, 275, 276, 278, 279, 
280, 293, 295, 299, 300, 306 note, 

Indians, 245. 
Six Nations, 175. 

Inventions, Scientific, 14-17, 201, 
204-5, 208, 210, 304-5 and note. 

Ireland and Irish, 88, 104, 190 
and note, 192, 201, 230, 305 

Irish in Canada, 89, 245. 

Jalbert, 94. 

Jamaica, 23, 142 note, 140. 
Jesuit Estates, see Lands. 
Joseph II, 134. 

Keefer, T. C., 204 and note. 
Kempt, Sir James, 57. 
Kent, Duke of, 254. 
King's College, Toronto, 246-7. 
King's Posts, 183 and note. 
King's Wharves, 183 note, 184. 
Kingston, 207, 213, 220, 247. 

Lachine Canal, see Canals. 

Lambton, see Durham. 

Land and Emigration Commis- 
sioners, 171, 179, 191, 196, 294 
note, 299, 300. 



Land Registry Office, 58. 
Lands : 

Clergy Reserves, 4, 37, 56, 75, 

78, 152, 153, 162-5, 163 note, 

169, 170, 177, 209, 228, 238, 

245, 294-6. 
Companies, 61, 66, 67, 73, 169- 

Crown Lands, 37, 40 note, 60, 


175, 182-4, 293, 299. 
in British North America, 152, 

156, 158, 171, 174 and note, 

177-9, 264. 
in United States, 264. 
Jesuit Estates, 5, 56, 153, 165-7, 

183 and note, 232, 236, 238, 


Militia Claims, 4, 153, 173-5. 
Public, 4, 108 note, 115, 120- 

1, 123, 149, 150, 152-88, 

262, 264, 285, 293-4, 294 

Tax, 176, 178, 187. 

Tenure, 56, 66, 67, 71, 152, 153, 
159-62, 168 and note, 171, 
174, 279 ; see also Seigniories. 

See also Buller, Charles. 
Language, 133-6, 289, 308 note. 
Laurier, Sir Wilfrid, 118, 240. 
Laval, Bishop, 242. 
Laval University, 242 note. 
Law and Justice, 123-4, 223-31, 

263, 292. 

Appeals, Judicial, 230-1, 249. 
Chief Justices, 36, 59, 225, 226. 
Civil Law, 28-9, 223-4. 
Courts of Law, 223. 
Criminal Law, 223. 
Judges, 37, 38, 56, 57, 59, 61, 

66, 82, 149, 150, 225-6, 231, 

292, 293. 

Juries, 223, 224, 229-30. 
Magistrates, 223, 228-9. 
' Leaders and Associates,' 160. 
Legislative Council, see Councils. 
Legislatures, 33-4, 179, 219. 
Federal, 113, 251-5. 
Lower Canada, 32, 47, 51, 52, 

57, 60, 64, 69, 72-4, 88, 113, 

166, 172, 183, 185-7, 194, 206, 

209, 224, 228, 248. 
Newfoundland, 88. 
United, 148-50, 152 and note, 

187, 217, 249, 288, 291-3, 
294 note, 296, 299-301. 
Upper Canada, 54, 60, 80, 113, 

245, 246, 276, 295. 
Relations with Executives, see 


And see Assembly and Councils. 
Lewis, Sir George Cornewall, 
15, 134, 140 note, 145, 180- 
1, 181 note, 268-70, 286, 306 

Liverpool, Lord, 52, 266. 
Local Government, 4, 123, 149, 
152 and note, 159, 195 note, 
210-22, 264, 296-9. 
in United States, 264-5. 
Lods et Ventes, 184. 
London (Canada), 213. 
Louisiana, 131, 264, 283. 
Lount, 80, 98, 99. 
Loyalists, 89, 90, 91, 93, 95, 98, 

159, 245, 259-61. 

Loyalists, United Empire, 37, 54, 
159, 174. 

Macdonell, Bishop, 4, 245. 

McGill, James, 244. 

McGill University, 243-4. 

Mackenzie, William Lyon, 55, 75, 
76, 80, 81, 96-9, 214. 

Mackintosh, Sir James, 7, 45. 

MacNab, Colonel, 98. 

Maine, 202, 256, 257. 

Maitland, Sir Peregrine, 53-5, 85, 

Malthus, 192. 

Maritime Provinces, 81, 115, 204, 
249, 250, 258, 291, and see 
separately New Brunswick, &c. 

Matthews, 99. 

Melbourne, Lord, 14, 17, 19, 20, 
62, 64, 102, 110, 123, 214, 288. 

Merivale, Lectures on Coloniza- 
tion, 152 note, 157, 219 note, 
298 and note 3. 

Militia and Militia Laws, 51-2, 
150, 212. 

Militia Land Claims, see Land. 

Ministers of Crown, see Imperial 

Molesworth, Sir William, 2, 12, 21, 
22, 73, 101, 157 note 2, 157-8, 
181, 267-8, 268 note 2, 270, 
273, 274. 



Monarchy, hereditary, 141. 

Money Votes, initiation of, 149, 
292, 297. 

Montreal, 15, 34, 61, 63, 67, 71, 
78, 88-96, 153, 162, 167, 168, 
194 note 2, 195, 203, 205, 206, 
207, 212, 242 and note, 243, 

Montreal district, 100, 248. 

Montreal, Constitutional Associa- 
tion of, 4, 63, 128. 

Morley, Lord, quoted, 135-6 note. 

Morrison, Dr., 97. 

Municipalities, see Local Govern- 

Murray, General James, 28, 223. 

Murray, Sir George, 55, 57, 58. 

Nationality, Canada a Nation, 

Anglifying of Lower Canada, 

&c., 27, 35, 46, 61, 116, 121, 122, 

125-33, 161-2, 202, 215-16, 

233-4, 236, 253, 261, 266, 281-4, 

286-7, 310-13. 
Native Questions, 136, 146, 274-5, 


Navy Island, 99. 
Neilson, John, 47. 
Nelson, Dr. Wolfred, 74, 89, 90-4, 

95, 97, 128. 

Nelson, Robert, 89, 90, 128. 
Neptune, the, 13. 

New Brunswick, 30, 71, 72, 81-5, 
90, 106, 107, 114, 204, 262, 
291 note, 294 note. 

Civil List, 83. 

Crown Revenues, control of, 83. 

Deputation to England, 82-3. 

Responsible Government, 83. 
New France, 24-6. 
New South Wales, 12, 65. 
New York, 78, 209, 258, 264, 265, 


New Zealand, 14, 146, 156, 291. 
New Zealand Association, 14. 
New Zealand Land Company, 14, 


Newfoundland, 65, 86-8, 106, 107, 
108 and note, 113, 114, 115, 
154, 171, 250, 291 and note, 
294 note. 

Fisheries, 86. 

Religious troubles, 87-8. 
Niagara, 96, 99, 207, 213, 263. 

North- West, 200, 202, 208, 210, 

256, 263. 
Nova Scotia, 4, 16, 57, 81, 83-6, 

90, 106, 107, 114, 204, 222, 
257, 262, 265, 291 note, 294 

Constitution, 84. 
Representative Institutions, 81. 
Revenue Control, 84. 

O'Callaghan, Dr., 89, 94. 
O'Connell, 73, 74, 104. 
Ottawa, 16, 207. 

Palmerston, Lord, 19. 
Papineau, Louis, 38, 42, 43, 47, 
49, 52, 54, 69, 70, 74, 77, 88- 

91, 94, 96-7, 128, 133. 
Eulogy of British rule, 41. 

Parliament, Canadian, 118, 231, 

290, 293. 
Parliament, Imperial, see Imperial 

Parliamentary Executive, see 


Parliamentary Reform, 17. 
Parsonages, 163. 
' Patriots,' 89, 97. 
Patronage, Crown, see Crown 

Peace of Paris, 27. 
Peel, Sir Robert, 12, 19, 62, 65, 

99, 112. 

Peninsular and Oriental Com- 
pany, 16. 

Petition of Rights, 62. 
Pitt, William, 31. 
Police Forces, 212. 
Poor Law Reform, 18. 
Presbyterians, see Clergy. 
Prevost, Sir George, 36, 206. 
Prince Edward Island, 85-6, 106, 
107, 114. 

lands, 86. 
Proclamation of 1763, 28, 29, 159, 

174 223 
Protestants, 160, 163, 164, 239, 

242-3, 245-6, andsee Cler<ry a>! 

Church of England, &c. 
Public Lands, see Lands. 
Public Works, 118, 178, 208, 209, 


Quarantine, 194, 195. 



Quarter Sessions, 223. 

Quebec, 16, 30, 34, 36, 63, 65, 89, 
90, 100, 183 note, 190, 194 and 
note 2, 195, 201, 210, 212, 214, 
242 and note, 243, 282. 

Quebec Act, see under Acts. 

Quebec, Province, 26, 29, 31, 120, 
151, 159, 220, 278, 283, 284. 298 
note 2, 301. 

Quebec Assembly, see Assembly, 
Lower Canada. 

Quebec Emigrants' Society, 194. 

Queen's College, 247. 

Race animosity, &c., 33-7, 46, 

126-31, 229, 240, 279-84. 
Radenhurst, John, 170. 
Railways, 8, 14-15, 178, 198-201, 

Canadian Northern, 200. 

Canadian Pacific, 15, 199, 200, 

Grand Trunk, 200. 

in United States, 265. 

Intercolonial, 200, 201, 204. 

La Prairie to St. John's, 14-15, 

Stockton to Darlington, 14. 
Rebellion, 24, 40, 80, 88-99, 101, 

in Lower Canada, 38, 40, 88-96, 
128, 258. 

in Upper Canada, 80, 96-9, 258. 

reasons for, 103-5. 
Receiver-General of Canada, de- 
falcations of, 43. 
Rectories, 78, 163, 164. 
Reform in England, 17-18, 42, 58, 

76, 129. 

Regiopolis, 247. 
Reid, Stuart, 3. 
Religion, 33, 87-8, 133, 239-40, 

245, 279, &c. See also Clergy, 


Rents and Dues, 40, 183-4. 
Representative Institutions, 1 1 , 

23, 34, 81, 138, 216, 217, 277, 

304, 310. 

Republics and Republican Institu- 
tions, 139 and note, 154, 254. 
Reserves, Clergy, see Lands. 
Reserves, Crown, see Lands. 
Responsible Government, 5, 7, 11, 
22, 77, 81, 83, 88, 123-6, 

130-1, 137-52, 155, 181, 182, 
187, 198, 218, 254-5, 261, 
265-6, 273, 277, 289-91, 304, 
310-15, &c. 

arguments for, 121-2, 137-8, &c. 

definition of, 137-8, 147-8. 

Durham's recommendations, 

objections to, 142-6, 313. 
Revenues, see Finances. 
Revenues, Crown, see Crown 


Richards, John, 174, 188. 
Richelieu, River, 74, 88, 89, 90, 91, 

92, 93, 94, 207. 

Richmond, Duke of, 39, 42, 53. 
Ripon, Earl of, see Goderich. 
Rideau Canal, see Canals. 
Ridout, 80, 81. 
Roads, 178, 198, 210, 211, 220. 

in United States, 265. 
Robinson, Peter, 192. 
Robinson, Sir John Beverley, 46, 

54, 75. 

Life of, 126 note, 226. 
Roebuck, John Arthur, 62, 71, 73, 

102-3, 104, 248. 
Rolph, Dr., 55, 79, 97, 98. 
Roman Catholics, 88, 164, 239, 

243, 245, 247, &e., and see 

Romans, 135-6 note, 222, 269, 

274, 307-9. 
Royal Commission (Lord Gos- 

ford's) to Lower Canada, 64- 

72, 74, 167-8, 185 note, 232-3, 

235, 237. 

Royal William, the, 16 and note. 
Russell, Peter, 245, 246. 
Russell, Lord John, 5, 12, 19, 72- 

4, 101, 102, 110, 112, 143-5, 147, 

168 note, 175, 196, 213, 218, 288, 

289, 290, 294 note, 297, 299. 

St. Benoit, 96. 

St. Charles, 90, 92, 94. 

St. Denis, 90, 91, 92, 93, 94, 95. 

St. Eustache, 95. 

St. John's, 91, 95, 207. 

St. Lawrence, 14-15, 88, 90, 91, 
92, 159, 183 note, 201, 202-4, 
206-9, 258, 263, 278, 283. 

St. Maurice Forges, 183 note, 184. 

St. Sulpice, see Sulpicians. 



Scotch Church, see Clergy, Pres- 
Secretary of State for the Colonies, 

see Colonial Office. 
Seigniories, 28, 67, 71, 128, 152, 

159, 161, 165, 167-8, 183 note, 


Sewell, Jonathan, 225, 254. 
Sherbrooke, Sir John, 37-9, 43, 53, 


Simcoe, 33, 244, 246. 
/Sft'r Robert Peel, the, 258. 
Slavery, abolition of, 10-11, 12, 

- 13, 18, 22. 

in United States, 257. 
Smith, Chief Justice, 254 and note, 

255, 284. 

Sorel, 89, 90, 92, 93, 94. 
' Sons of Liberty,' see Fils de 

South Africa, 13, 135 and note, 

136, 280, 283, 309, 311. 
South Australia, 13, 14, 156, 158. 
Stanley, Lord, 19, 62, 137, 171. 
Steamships, 15-16, 201, 208, 305 


Spring Rice, 62, 63, 85, 87. 
Stephen, Sir James, 10, 20-2, 


Strachan, Dr., 46, 54, 164-5, 246. 
Stuart, James, 36, 38, 47, 49, 61, 


Submarine cables, 16. 
Sulpicians, 67, 71, 153, 162, 165, 

167-8, 242 and note. 
Sydenham, Lord, see Thomson, 


Talon, 174. 

Tasmania, 12, 100. 

Taylor, Sir Henry, 20 and note, 


Telegraphs, 8, 15, 16. 
Texas, 257, 259. 
Theller, 99-100. 
Thomson, Poulett, 144, 168 note, 

175, 213, 218, 289-90, 294, 295- 

Three Rivers Town Fiefs, 183 


Timber licences, 178, 184. 
Titles of Honour, 227, 291. 
Tories, 7, 14, 19, 42, 65, 247. 
Toronto, 76, 78, 79, 81, 90, 96-8, 

137, 165, 170, 171, 213 and 

note, 244. 
Toronto University, see King's 

College, Toronto. 
Townships, 128, 152, 160, 221, 

Townships, Eastern, 46, 58, 61, 

89, 93, 159-60, 169, 171, 172, 


Trade, Board of, 300. 
Transportation, 11-13, 158. 
Trinity College, Toronto, 247. 
Turton, 153. 
Two Mountains County, 88, 95. 

United Empire Loyalists, ate 

United States : 
(i) References to, 22, 80, 91, U3, 

94, 97, 98, 99, 104, 113, 121, 

122, 124, 125, 153, 154, 177, 

178, 216, 252, 257-66, 278, 

303, 310. 
(ii) Institutions, 54, 62, 140-1, 

142 note, 215, 265. 
(iii) Causes of Prosperity, 139, 

154, 265. 
(iv) Comparison with Canada, 

139, 201-2, 262-6. 
(v) Frontier of, 88, 93, 96, 99, 

159, 203, 256-9, 278. 
Upper Canada College, 75, 245. 

Van Buren, President, 257, 258. 
Van Diemen's Land, see Tasmania. 
Van Egmont, 98-9. 
Vancouver, 16, 205. 
Victoria, Queen, 10-19, 74, 88, 

100, 185, 254, 292. 
Victoria College, 247. 
Vindicator, the, 89, 91. 

Wakefield, Gibbon, 3-4, 14, 153, 

155-8, 175, 178, 180, 181-2, 189, 

197, 294. 
War of American Independence, 

30, 104, 174, 206, 259. 
War of 1812, 34, 36, 37, 90, 97, 

173, 174, 178, 203, 206, 278. 
Waterways, Canadian, 205-8. 
Weavers, distress among, 192-3. 
Webster, Daniel, 99. 
Weir, Lieutenant, 94. 



Welland Canal, see Canals. 
Wellington, Duke of, 17, 19, 55, 


Wesleyans, 78, 247. 
Western Australia, 12. 
West Indies, 11-13, 158, 178, 


Wetherall, Colonel, 92, 93. 
Whateley, Archbishop, 11. 

123, 129, 131, 151, 214, 219, 


William Henry, see Sorel. 
William IV, 40, 65, 74, 88, 185. 
Wilmot, Lemuel, 83. 
Wilmot, or Wilmot Horton, 44. 
Wodehouse, Sir Philip, 146. 

York, see Toronto. 

Whigs, 17-20, 65, 78, 104, 111-13, Young, William, 4, 258, 265. 


. -, C 

neturn this material to the library 
from which It was borrowed. 

JUN 0997 (? 
DEC 18 '97 REC( 



3 1970 00489 


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